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Friday, May 7, 2010

Mira's first dentist visit... necessitated by circumstance

Last night, Mira had an accident in the bathtub and chipped her two front teeth. I didn't see it happen, since Brian was the one bathing her, but my understanding of what happened is this: Brian and Mira were playing some Super Fun Bathtub Game and Mira got so excited that she just had to ram her face into the side of the tub. Seriously. She didn't slip, didn't fall, she wasn't even standing up. So when people ask what happened, I can't even really say "she fell in the tub". Instead I think I'll say "she had a momentary lapse in judgement".

Anyway, back to last night. Brian got her out of the tub and held her while she cried and I immediately got on the phone with a minor emergency clinic to see if they could help me decide whether she needed immediate care. (It was after office hours, so I couldn't reach her pediatrician.) The person I talked to at the clinic said that they wouldn't be able to do anything for her because she was so young and they didn't have the means to anesthetize someone under the age of two. So they recommended I call Dell Children's Hospital, which I did, and holy cow, let me just take a moment to say that the nurse I talked to there was In. Creh. Di. Bul. She took my info quickly and then went straight to trying to diagnose the severity of the injury. Her questions were direct and clear and very much in the interest of determining the best course of action for Mira. If any of the moms reading this ever has an after hours problem, I highly recommend calling Dell Children's Hospital.

For anyone who might want this information, when your child chips a tooth, here's what you should check for: Bleeding is an indication of trauma to the lips or gums. A red dot in the middle of the broken area of the tooth indicates that the break went all the way through the enamel, down to the pulp, which would cause shooting pain. If the tooth is loose or misaligned in the gum, then it could fall out if not taken care of right away. Also, if more than half the tooth is broken off, the piece that came off should be kept, as it may be able to be reattached. In any of those cases, care should be sought immediately.

But Mira had none of those conditions and she seemed to calm down and stop crying pretty quickly, so with the help of the nurse at Dell Children's Hospital, we were able to determine that she didn't need immediate care and that the best course of action would probably be to get her in to a pediatric dentist the following morning. The portion of the teeth that broke off was not that big, but a checkup by a dentist would make sure that everything was ok.

So this morning we were able to find a pediatric dentist who could get her in on short notice. I explained to Mira that we were going to see a doctor who would look at her teeth. She at least understood the "teeth" part because right after I said that she pointed to her mouth. The doctor was very nice and smiled a lot. Mira did well through checking in, through the dental assistant and the doctor both coming in and taking a glance at her teeth, through sitting in my lap in the dentist chair, through raising the chair up and reclining, through the dentist opening her mouth with his fingers and feeling around. She did great through all of that. But the minute he picked up that little mirror and put that into her mouth... well that was where she drew the line. She let us know that that was enough looking at her teeth now, thank you very much. Luckily, the doctor had seen all he needed to see.

He told us exactly what I was hoping to hear, that the only damage was cosmetic. No intervention is necessary at this point. The sharp edges created by the break should dull with normal wear, but if they're still really sharp in a few weeks, then we could bring her back in to get them ground down a little bit if we want to. The only thing we need to watch for is discoloration to the teeth. If either of the teeth gets discolored over the next two months, then we need to bring her back in for reevaluation.

So a very good prognosis for my little snaggle-tooth. But it is kinda sad that her little smile will never be the same.

1 comment:

jkray622 said...

Glad that everything looks to be fine! Can't wait to see her new grin!