Meeting with the dental surgeon

During a consult today, Namine proved to be her own best advocate.

Let me give you a quick recap. Namine recently had four teeth removed: two on the right, then two on the left. Both bottom teeth were baby teeth, but while there was no adult tooth on the left side, a follow-up X-ray revealed that there is still an adult tooth on the right side. (Well, sort of an adult tooth. It’s small and underdeveloped, and the dentist calls it a “nubbin.”)

So today, we met with a dental surgeon to see what it will take to remove Namine’s remaining adult tooth. She can’t get braces across the entirety of her lower teeth until it happens, so it needs to happen quickly because she’s getting most of her braces tomorrow. Namine was pretty nervous about today’s appointment, thinking that she had another actual removal. She was relieved when we explained that it was just a consult.

When we’re at appointments, we let Namine do the talking. As much as she is able to and comfortable with, we prefer to allow her to explain to the doctor what’s going on in her own words. Then, if need be, we can fill in any missing bits.

Namine is still hurt by being lied to during her first tooth extraction appointment. She always talks faster when she’s excited or agitated, and she really unloaded on the surgeon. As Jessica explained to him, the dental team at Children’s Hospital had told Namine that they were going to numb her teeth and gums with a spray — when the thing they called a “spray” was in fact a needle.

Although the needle hurt, it isn’t the needle about which Namine is still upset. It’s being lied to. We explained to the surgeon that Namine is a very matter-of-fact child. She always prefers the truth to a lie, even if the truth is hard or unpleasant.

With that in mind, the surgeon explained to Namine how he would cut into her gum and extract the tooth. It is buried inside her gum, but it’s still not very deep. He’s unsure right now whether or not he’ll need to do a local anesthetic or sedate her completely — the latter of which Namine does not look forward to — but that’s a bridge we’ll cross when we come to it. As for now, it looks like this last extraction will happen early next month.

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