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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Would a dentist think I was mad if I asked...

(12 Posts)
WorkingtoohardMama Mon 20-May-13 13:22:12

Them to just look at ds's teeth, but not carry out any treatment.

The back story is that a while back ds developed an abscess under one of his baby teeth (I did post on here about my guilt).

When we went to the dentist, she wanted to clean the tooth to have a better look, he was already in pain from the abscess, and her trying to scrape and clean it didn't go down well; she wasn't very sympathetic. The nurse said that if he counted to 10 it would be done, he counted to 10 and went to sit up. The dentist told him to lay back down as she hadnt even started let alone finished!! It was a really stressful experience, with ds getting increasingly upset, and the dentist getting increasingly impatient.

She ended up saying that she would refer him to have the tooth taken out under sedation.

We were referred to a private clinic and the experience was 100 times better, they explained to him exactly what they needed to do and it was a really positive experience.

Ds was completely distressed by the experience with the first dentist and is saying that he doesn't want to go back, and I don't blame him, but he's obviously got to go regularly, so I was thinking that I would ask the dentist whether they would see him for his check up, but not do anything (hopefully he won't need any treatment!) so that he can build up his confidence again.

I really don't want him to develop a lifelong fear of the dentist, do you think a dentist would be happy to go along with this?

BackforGood Mon 20-May-13 13:25:53

Well, a good dentist would, but then the first dentist doesn't sound like they were very good with children(?) / had a good "bedside manner" so I don't know that they would.
Is there another dentist you could swap to ? They do vary hugely, and a good dentist is invaluable.

AMumInScotland Mon 20-May-13 13:32:35

If she was unsympathetic the first time, she may just not be very good with children / nervous patients. Do you have choices? I know in some places finding an NHS dentist at all is a struggle, but it may be worth looking if there are any possibilities.

Otherwise do try going and talking to her, and see if she can understand what you want and why - she ought to be happy to help him regain his confidence, but then she shouldn't have taken ages making him uncomfortable to start with. And the nurse should not have lied - it's a very bad strategy for children, as they learn quickly!

WorkingtoohardMama Mon 20-May-13 13:39:11

I think I might ask and see how they react - if they look at me like I've got 2 heads, I'll have my answer, not sure how easy it would be to register with another dentist, but I'll ask around to see where friends take their children.

There are a number of dentists based at that surgery, so might be possible to see someone else there.

I just really hope that I can restore his confidence, it's so disappointing that one experience has changed how he feels about the dentist; he's 7, so at a very impressionable age.

DeWe Mon 20-May-13 14:24:42

My dc have always started their check ups by going with me (or big brothers/sisters) and the dentist asking to look at their teeth. They would either say "no", and the dentist would be fine with that; bear their teeth and the dentist would look and say "very good"; or open their mouth and the dentist would do a quick look with the mirror but nothing else.
They were always happy to do this, and the children think going to the dentist is fun confused

I am sure that my dentist would be very happy to do as you ask.

cestlavielife Mon 20-May-13 14:40:17

go to a didffernet dentist and ask - if it is a big problem call your pct and ask to be referred to the specialist paediatric dentist/community specialist paed dentist for children with anxiety issues/special needs etc . this may mean travelling a bit further to access...or they mgith recomend you a dentist with particular interest in children and willing to work on anxiety issues.

Gumgardener321 Mon 20-May-13 18:58:24

I would go to a different dentist. Children needs time when having dental treatment but unfortunately some dentist just don't have the patients and time is money to them and rather then give the child the time they need they end up rushing treatment when could result in the child developing a fear. If you have no luck with the other dentists I would ask then to ref you to pct like cestlavielife said as they will spend all the time your child needs gaining the trust that the previous dentist has lost and eventually(hopefully) carrying out treatment. Any health professional can refer your child so don't worry if you don't want to ask your current dentist

nextphase Mon 20-May-13 19:19:51

I've been asked to bring the kids (now 4 and 2) along to my checkups, and then like above, they "look" at the kids teeth - as well as the kids allow, and then send them home with a sticker.

WorkingtoohardMama Mon 20-May-13 21:58:56

Thanks for all the responses, I really appreciate it; I've always taken both dc along to my check ups and let the dentist have a look and then as they've got older taken them to their own appointments, all was good until the day with the abscess, such a shame as its wrecked all the previous good experiences for ds.

I was worried that the dentist may not entertain seeing a patient and not doing any necessary treatment - I'm hoping that he won't need any treatment, but want to be prepared - your responses have reassured me that I am asking for something reasonable - thank you!

QueenofLouisiana Mon 20-May-13 22:57:08

I am scared of going to the dentist blush so if I have to take DS with me, I always ask them to make me another appointment to carry out any treatment. A check up i can cope with, but lose it with anything bigger. My (NHS) dentist does so without batting an eyelid.

They know that watching me cry as soon as anything is done would ruin DS's view of dental check-ups, so it isn't worth it!

Mamf74 Tue 21-May-13 18:41:08

Was the dentist you saw your usual one? The reason I ask is that we see a dentist who has 5 children, and were specifically 'given' her by the receptionist as DD is only 3 as she's so used to dealing with kids.

The dentist we saw for our registration appointment was brusque to the point of arsey-ness, and I was terrified of him as I'm such a nervous patient. SO pleased we no longer see him!

So could it just have been bad luck you saw her, does your practice have anyone more used to children?

WorkingtoohardMama Tue 21-May-13 21:33:42

She is our usual one, she was always ok when there wasn't anything wrong, but that time she was truly awful - part of me wants to give her the benefit of the doubt, maybe she was having an off day, but she's not a sort of nice dentist that you can have a rapport with iyswim, just ok.

I would hate for ds to have another bad experience and then be put off even more; I'll speak to the receptionist, and see what her reaction is; if she's not agreeable then I'll look elsewhere.

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