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Baby Root Canal

After seeing the first dentist, I spoke to several friends about Ellery’s dead tooth.  I found out from one of them that their son had a dead tooth too, and he did a baby root canal when he was three years old, without any anesthesia!

I called her dentist to check whether there were any available appointment slots, but the dentist was packed until the end of April!  I was thinking of pursuing other options, or checking with a different dentist.

Then when I went for my own dental appointment, I met with the dentist who had seen the boys on their very first dental visit.  I asked him about Ellery’s tooth, and he advised that we should do the baby root canal because if the tooth got infected, there was a chance that the adult tooth inside would also get infected.  And if for some reason the dead tooth started to loosen and fall out, the other baby teeth would fill in the space posing problems for the adult tooth when it is time for it to erupt.

He said he had done baby root canals for children as young as two years old, and he seemed more confident and experienced than the other dentist.  Plus, his advice made sense to me as my friend mentioned that her dentist said something similar.  Leaving it alone is not advisable.  He said there would be no need for anesthesia as the tooth was already dead, so there would be no pain at all.

So I made an appointment for a few days later, and brought Ellery for his procedure.

Ellery was so good.  He was perfectly still throughout because he was pretending to be a stick insect!  He was supposed to trick the dentist that he was just a stick, and after the procedure reveal that he was actually an insect!  :)  Prior to the procedure Ellery whispered to me, “I’m a stick insect.”  When the dentist asked him what he said, Ellery replied, “It’s a secret!” :)

The dentist was also fantastic!  He talked to Ellery throughout, praising him for being so good, telling him what he was going to do next using easy to understand terms, and he worked so quickly and steadily throughout that before we knew it, he had already drilled a hole into the back of the tooth, taken out the decaying material inside, washed it, dried it and filled it!

20 minutes tops.

Ah.  Now I have peace of mind.

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Jude

About a week and a half ago, Ellery tripped and fell, knocking his front two teeth onto the hard ground. The gums above his two front teeth started bleeding and I was quite worried about the damage.

For the rest of the day he complained that his teeth hurt and he couldn’t eat properly.  Since he couldn’t bite I had to tear everything into really small pieces and let him eat only small mouthfuls of food.

But the next day he was totally fine and happily declared throughout the day that his teeth didn’t hurt anymore.

We left it at that since he seemed fine.

Then yesterday night I noticed his left front tooth looked brownish, like the tooth was dead.  So today after school I brought him to see the dentist to assess his tooth.

It’s confirmed… the nerves in his tooth were damaged from the fall and now the tooth is dead.  The brown colouration is due to the decaying matter inside the tooth causing a chemical reaction with the enamel resulting in a colour change.

The options aren’t great.  The more invasive option is to perform a root canal. That would be a tricky procedure to carry out on an active 3 year-old, so in all likelihood Ellery will have to be put on general anesthesia (GA) – not something I want to put him through unless there’s no other choice.  The pro is that it’ll stop any further discolouration and prevent any further infection.  The con is that the tooth colour cannot be restored, and of course the GA.

The other option, which is also what the doctor recommends, is to just let it be.  There will be some infection, but the degree of discomfort Ellery experiences is uncertain as it differs from person to person.  If his immunity is high he may experience very little discomfort.  The pro of this option is that we avoid GA and an operation.  The con is that he’ll be stuck with an increasingly brown then black tooth until he’s about 7 years-old when his front teeth fall out.  That’s a long time to have a blackened tooth! Longer than he’s been alive for! Cosmetics, I know, but still.

My poor, clumsy sweet-heart.  With him it’s always these moments of impact, moments that change things for him drastically, moments where you are just filled with worry.  The doc says it could have been worse, yes that’s true.  I’m just lamenting the situation for now.  As my cousin said, I should be thankful that at least they have another set of teeth!

Praying that somehow somehow his teeth will be ok!

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Can’t really see it here, but one tooth is brownish.

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Cool as a cuke while the dentist checked him out

The irony is that in the Book of Jude, chapter 1 verse 24 says:

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy”

It speaks of a figurative spiritual fall, but I shall also claim the verse literally. I pray that my little Ellery-Jude will not have any serious falls anymore!!!

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