Parenting VS. Dentistry…
There is never a dull moment
when you have children.
Feel free to borrow any of my three kids if you need to test this theory yourself. There is rarely a dull moment when you are a dentist as well, believe it or not. There is a real struggle in Parenting Vs. Dentistry some days.
Real crying came wafting in from the backyard. I say “real crying” because as a parent you get to know the difference between real and….well, let’s just say exaggerated. Libby, my sweet angel of a daughter decided to shoot the fort with a bb gun. (That’s right, I let my kids play unsupervised in the backyard with a bb gun, and you can whip me later for that). As most of us adults know, bb’s have a way of shooting your eye out. Thank goodness Libby was crying out of two perfectly good eyes. The bad news was Libby would not open her mouth which was on lock down by both of her hands. After sufficient comforting, and suppression of building anger, I was able to witness the results of the misguided bb. Her front tooth was broken in half. Well, S#&%! Call the dentist! Wait…that’s me, I have to fix this! We promptly rushed to the office to get started on fixing her teeth.
Libby survived, but that’s not the end of the story.
Now, as a dentist, there were about a million things running through my mind. Of course I chose not to share this with my terrified daughter, who was acutely aware of needles. Through my mind was racing all of the things that I normally tell parents when they come in with a child who has injured a tooth. Watch for swelling, let me know if the child experiences any discomfort in the gums above the tooth, let us know if the tooth starts to turn gray. All of these are indications that the tooth I started to die and or has become infected. Well, I got Libby fixed up with a tooth colored filling, which I thought looked pretty darn good. Libby went back to school and resumed normal lifestyle of a bubbly young lady. About a year and a half later the phone call came. Libby was at school and her tooth started to hurt, not just hurt but really, really hurt. Libby was brought up to my office, where I lifted her upper lip and saw that she was smuggling a grape underneath her gums. No father wants to drain an abscess from their daughter but lucky me.
I don't need to go into the gory details of what happened next, or exactly how loud Libby vocalized her displeasure with the entire situation. There are days when even the best dentist just wants to be a parent - and believe me - I would have gladly turned in my dentist hat on that day. I am pleased to tell you all that Libby and I have both survived the ordeal with minimal emotional scarring. In the battle of Parenting VS. Dentistry, on that day – parenting won.