A few weeks back, I mentioned that Zeke has an absess above one of his front teeth that I was instructed to have looked at by a pediatric dentist. Our family dentist was kind enough to provide a referral and a phone number to a pediatric dentist somewhere in Anchorage. Actually, they referred me to one place, but called as I got home to tell me this place wasn't taking new patients at the moment, and gave me the info for a second place.
After getting the kids lunch and putting them down for naps, I called the pediatric dentist and explained to the secretary about the absess and what's it. After I finished my spiel, she first asked (in a rather incredulously toned voice) why didn't the dentist write Zeke a prescription since an absess is a clear sign of an infection? Then she informed me that I should have had the absess looked at right away instead of waiting so long because it could "move from his mouth into his brain, explode, and that could be fatal". After delivering this fabulous little tidbit she finished by saying that they couldn't get him until February 18th. Wow. So now my over-sensitive pregnant brain is freaking out thinking, "You tell me my kid could drop dead any minute from this thing in his mouth, then tell me you can't see him for over a month?!?"
Don't worry, he's fine. When I told Josh what she said, he reassured me by pointing out the fact that the absess is in the front of Zeke's mouth and would have to travel to the back of his mouth before it could ever go to his brain. Plus, it had been there for quite some time, and since it doesn't even bother him, it's nothing really to worry about. Thank God men are logical beings.
All the same, I didn't really want to wait until February to see what the deal with this thing is. When I took Zeke to his check-up two days later, I asked if there was a pediatric dentist on post, was given his number, and gave him a call. Now, however, is a terrible time to make any sort of dental appointments on post. There are a ton of guys getting ready to come back home after a year long deployment, not to mention a bunch more getting ready to leave for a year long deployment, so all dental personnel are wrapped up in this stuff. However, when I called to see if we could get in I was told that every Tuesday from 9-11 the pediatric dentist sets up at the Arctic Oasis and sees all walk-in children, and I would have to bring Zeke there for him to check out the absess to determine what should be done next, if anything at all.
Groovy, right? So, we were all set to go last week, but then the boys woke up super early (like 5:45am early), which meant they were both melty and uncooperative by 7, which meant we didn't do a thing last week. We stayed home and had morning rest time. However, we did make it there yesterday, and this dentist was wonderful. We actually got there a few minutes before 9, but he was all set up and ready to go for it, so go for it we did.
As I was filling out the health form, I told Zeke that the man in the white coat was the dentist who was going to be looking in his mouth. Zeke then walked right up to him and went, "AHHH", nice and big. The dentist laughed, gave Zeke a high-five and started to show him the light on his glasses that he would be using to look at Zeke's teeth. He said Zeke's teeth looked great, except for that absess. Before we could talk about the absess though, Deacon started getting antsy for his turn even though we weren't there for him. But he jumped up and down next to me saying, "Sit Mommy's lap (the dentist had me sit Zeke on my lap with his legs wrapped around my waist, then laid Zeke's head back onto the dentist's knees, and I have to say, I really like this method). Sit Mommy's lap. Dentist light. Deacon dentist light." The dentist laughed again (he really got a kick out of Deacon) and gave Deacon a little examination too. Again, beautiful teeth, lots of space in Deacon's mouth, everything's groovy.
After Deacon's turn, I let the boys play on the playground right there (I'll have to write more about this place later, it really is an amazing set up), while the dentist and I discussed Zeke's absess. The dentist said that it is a result of Zeke falling and busting his tooth (you know, way back whenever that happened). He was a little surprised to see it sitting so perfectly between two teeth, but since the one is discolored he knew which one was the cause, and announced that the tooth shall be pulled. That's right. Once the appointment is made, my son will look something like this:
Josh says the pink doesn't really show up well (you can click on the picture to see it better, I think) and I should make the hole black. Let's see...making the hole black... So I guess he'll look something more like this then:
Okay, probably not. We're just goofing around. But, the tooth will be pulled, there will be a space there, and it will be a part of his smile for the next couple of years. That's right, years. Initially, our family dentist said the pediatric dentist might suggest a baby root canal on the tooth so it doesn't have to come out yet. Yeah, baby root canal. The pediatric dentist we saw yesterday said the tooth is just going to come out in a year or two on it's own anyway so why waste time and money on a pointless procedure. He'll just have the gap a little bit longer than he normally would have and he'll be fine.
I'm not sure I will be. I don't think I'm ready for my baby to start losing his teeth. That seems like such a "big kid" thing. Like first grade or some time around there. Not when he's 4. But there you have it. Now I'm just waiting on his office to call and set up a date to wiggle it out. I think I'm okay with waiting on making this appointment though.