Monday, December 05, 2011

The First "Lost" Tooth

It has finally happened, a boy has lost a tooth in our household. Although "lost" is more like "extracted" and "safely kept in a tooth-shaped box."

Alex the Loser of a Tooth
Alas, it was not Will, the oldest, who had the honor of losing the first tooth. Poor little Alex had an encounter with the corner of a counter back in October 2010. He was too short to see over the counter, so he grabbed the top of it and used his feet to climb up to see over. Unfortunately, he slipped and hit his mouth on the counter, splitting his chin open, cutting the inside of his mouth, and killing his top tooth.

The Injury
I took him to the urgent care, we got him examined and patched up with some of that purple super glue and thought all was well. However, at his next dentist appointment, the dentist asked about the "gray tooth" and if it bothered him. I had not noticed the slight discoloration of the tooth. The X-Ray confirmed that Alex did indeed have a dead tooth. Further examination revealed an abscess. He received antibiotics for the abscess which receded. At his next dentist appointment, the diagnosis was still the same and even though the abscess was not bothering him, it was a possibility that, if left untreated, it could damage the enamel of the permanent tooth. We got a referral to an oral surgeon since the tooth was firmly fixed in place and not coming out with our efforts.

Alex, by this point, was fairly aware of the fact that his tooth needed to come out. We had been talking about it and trying to wiggle it for months. We had discussed the possibility of going to a special dentist who could maybe wiggle it better with some nifty grabbers. I even tried to sweeten the deal with the lure of the tooth fairy bringing money.

Rejection of the Tooth Fairy
Alex would have none of it. He didn't want the tooth fairy to take his tooth away, even with the promise of financial gain. He wanted to keep it. So we got the super cute tooth box.

Show and Tell
It turns out that the Friday before the Monday of the scheduled extraction, Alex was due for show and tell at school. So we sent him in with the tooth box and a copy of his x-ray showing the dead root. He was a little tentative during show and tell, but glad he was able to bring his tooth box in. He was also reassured by his teacher who had a similar injury when she was small.

Commence Extraction

We explained the whole process of getting a tooth extracted, how there was laughing gas and the grabbers. Alex seemed cool with this. We always brought it back to how he would get to put his tooth in his special tooth box and how our efforts of wiggling it just weren't working to get the tooth out. When the day of the extraction came, he was excited to leave school early for his appointment, and went to the oral surgeon without complaint. He was totally fine at the discussion part of the appointment. The oral surgeon asked about how he might do during the extraction and I confirmed that Alex would be fine with only laughing gas. (If it would have been Will, we would have completely knocked him out.) During the extraction, Alex was calm, helpful, responded well to direction and it didn't phase him a bit. He was as excited as he could be, having just come off laughing gas, to put his tooth in the tooth box.

The only time Alex had trouble during the whole thing was on the way home after the extraction. His numbing shots were wearing off and he started feeling a little sore. After a bit of ibuprofen and about 2 hours of watching a movie on the TV, he was better. I tried to give him ibuprofen the next morning and he refused, completely fine with life.

As part of the whole process, I promised Alex that he could have ice cream after the extraction. We had read in the book, "What People Do All Day" that after tonsil extraction, you get ice cream. He was very excited to tell the oral surgeon that he would be going out for Superman Ice Cream. And that was the day that I learned that Superman Ice Cream doesn't exist in California, it is purely a Michigan thing. Fortunately Alex was placated by some rainbow sherbert posing as Superman ice cream.

Not Superman Ice Cream!

As it is typically a pain to treat the boys' injuries, I was relieved to get off easy on this one. I'm so glad that Alex didn't have a bad dentist experience and came out of it smiling. He does have a slight whistle when he says words with "S" in them sometimes, but it's more cute than annoying. :)

Can Still Eat Bread, Even Without Tooth

Who will lose the next tooth? I really hope it's Will. Silly 5-and-a-half-year-old doesn't seem to have a loose tooth on him. As long as they don't knock them out, I'm a happy mom.

I wonder if Will is interested in the monetary gain of trading teeth to the Tooth Fairy...

1 comment:

Angela said...

Congratulations on a successful and non-stressful extraction! On the other hand, Joshua doesn't have any loose teeth either and he's past 6.5! :)