Category Archives: Dentist

A big thumbs up for the orthodontist!

Our elder son had impressions taken today following a week of wearing spacers between two top molars. Next Tuesday he will be fitted with his upper brace that will be adjusted once a month for the next 4-6 months to expand his upper jaw. His eyeteeth are there ready to come through but are lying over the roots of the teeth next door, & have therefore begun to dissolve them. Thankfully the treatment is not as invasive or expensive as the full on metal work that many kids, & adults wear these days.

The process in which we got to this stage has been pretty impressive. Not only did the orthodontist take regular X-rays of his face, but they also took digital photos & subsequently a 3D scan (at the bargain basement price of $500 thank you very much). The scan was not part of the ‘free’ consultation of course, they said the regular pics were inconclusive – I think they probably say that to everyone frankly. However, I have to say it was very clever the way they built up a picture of both upper & lower jaw in order to help us see the problem. Then they split the screen & presented how it should look, explaining along the way what would need doing to correct the problem.

The joy of modern technology, very different to the way in which it was sold to me 30 years ago, & it was very uncool to have braces then (needless to say I declined & have slightly regretted it ever since. As it happens you won’t see my sons, his will be fitted onto his upper palate, initially causing some slightly altered speech until he gets used to it.

So far every appointment has involved him. He has had questions directed at him first; they have not been in any hurry during the appointments allowing plenty of time for both myself & him to ask questions; the waiting area has something for everyone – half decent coffee & in date magazines for me, & an interactive touch-screen games table for patients or siblings; each patient gets their own rewards card that they can eventually redeem the points for gift cards, the kids can also sign themselves into their appointments with the card when they arrive. The points are gained by being on time for their appointments, good brushing, following instructions etc.

What more can I say, over the years this has turned into a very positive experience for everyone, especially children & teenagers, giving them the incentive to take some responsibility. Already my younger son is experiencing this positivity by observing his older brother going through the process. If, & when because I’m sure he will also need some work in time, he will already know what to expect & hopefully be as confident & mature as his big brother.

The mother of all Friday’s!

Yes I have had the most insane day that started with a quick coffee with ‘mouth on legs’ mum, the school play at 9-10am, home (via the grocery store) to give the dog a quick walk, back to school for half day pick up, on to the dentist with the boys followed by a treats at Menchie’s frozen yoghurt bar & the kids book store (for Captain Underpants FOR the love of god!), then home quickly to get ready for track & field meet which we were almost late for because of traffic, then spent nearly 2 hours drowning in the rain screaming at my not very well behaved kids & looking not so very glamorous around hot teacher!

I now need a VERY large glass of wine so I can revive myself for round two of the meet tomorrow – cheers!

The plaque exterminator…

I was one of those kids that got dragged to the dentist every 6 months for as long as I can remember. In fact, if you look at my British dental records the first entry is when I’m only about 18 months. This could have quite possibly scarred me for life, but in fact I don’t have a problem with going to the dentist more than 40 years later. One of the main reason I have been so vigilant over the years is the fact I still have two baby teeth. Yes that’s right, I was short changed by the tooth fairy & won’t ever let her forget it! It is always a good conversation opener whenever I meet someone who is a dentist because I still have ‘E’ on both sides which indicates some sort of congenital thing. I’ve had countless xrays to determine where the grown up teeth are, & the simple answer to that is that they just don’t exist.

Trip’s to our dentist here in Vancouver are made all the more enjoyable by the fact that the practice we attend is north facing with a stunning view of the mountains. We are currently experiencing record temperatures – 29 degrees in downtown Vancouver today – so the clear blue sky made it even more spectacular while the hygienist hacked away at my teeth. I was surprised to have someone knew today because over the last 10 years I can honestly say the same 2 people have attacked me. I didn’t have a problem with this new face until she seemed to have a complete disregard for the fact I was actually a living breathing human being that has sensitive teeth.

It didn’t matter how many times she made me jump, flinch, squeak, raise my eyebrows, she just carried on like it was more than her jobs worth to consider the comfort of the patient. And what is with the not talking to you for 20 minutes & then asking you a question when you have a mouth full of instruments? I’m used to friendly conversation that only requires a nod or an audible noise, not a full-blown verbal answer. Thankfully my dentist rescued me with some of his normal dentistry conversation & a considerate bedside manner. Clearly many years of dental practice means you can hold a one-sided conversation for days. The examination was over & done in minutes, but my suffering was not over as the hygienist from hell still had to subject me to polishing & fluoride.

Over an hour later I walked out with a drool shaped make up stain on my chin, bad chair hair, a bill for nearly 100 bucks (& that’s with insurance) & a free toothbrush that I’ll never use.

But at least my teeth will blind you for a couple of days!!