About 4 months home, and it was obvious she had a really diseased tooth in the back. I got her doctor to prescribe a sedative, just so we could have a pediatric dentist look at it. Didn't work. She was so terrified, she refused to sit in the chair and the dentist yelled at me for not being able to "control" my daughter. We left. ( I wont even mention the name of this dentist, but will say his office is in Danvers, MA. And I do NOT recommend him.) But her tooth needed to come out, so we ended up having to go to an oral surgeon, and use general anesthesia just to get it done. She had surgery in October 2005, just before her 13th birthday. Even with the anesthesia, the experience was traumatic enough, that she didn't go to the dentist again for 2 more years. In those two years, I made a hundred calls, trying to find a dentist that would understand her unique needs and help us. Before we discovered the answer to our prayers : Dr. Polan.
It would be impossible for me to do Dr. Polan justice on this page, but suffice it to say, he was truly a gift from God when it came to Anastasia. I had gone to him once years and years ago and remembered how kind he was. Although he was not a pediatric dentist, I called and talked to him about Nastia's unique situation and asked if he could help. He couldn't have been more supportive of this desperate mother!
Nastia's first visit to Dr Polan was nothing short of miraculous. He told her he didn't even need to touch her mouth for this visit. He would just look. He showed her every instrument and explained its purpose. He let her touch them and when some proved to scary for her, he simply removed them from the room. He blew up a glove balloon for her. He made her laugh. He slowly and surely gained her trust enough that at our next visit, she allowed him to do a little work. He accomplished this by even allowing her to have some control over what happened. If she said stop, he stopped. If she needed questions answered, he answered them calmly and patiently, even though she took up a great deal of his time. He never made her feel ashamed that she was so very afraid. Instead, he met her where she was at, and slowly built up trust. By, I think, the third visit, he had developed so much trust with her that he was able to fill a cavity without her even flinching! Now that's what I call a dentist! My daughter's bravery with Dr Polan even got her dentist-phobic mom to go back to Dr Polan and get a broken tooth fixed!
As the years moved on, it became obvious that Nastia needed braces. She had significant chronic lower tooth pain, and it turns out it was due to the alignment of her teeth. Dr Polan explained that she needed braces and gave us the name of an orthodontist he recommended. At this point, two months ago, Nastia felt ready to handle braces, so we contacted Dr Gough and went for our initial consultation. He was wonderful. His whole office has been so supportive and understanding, and they too, really take the time to put her at ease. Although today's visit was a little traumatic for her (and for my poor hands that got squished for two hours!), she did sooo well and made it through far better than I would have imagined. She had a few tears in the beginning and some initial anxiety that had her wanting to stop, but in the end, she braved through and now she has these to show off!
|My brave girl:)|