teeth: the cause of, and solution to, all life's problems
So Cal needs a root canal.
The dentist calls it a "pulpotomy and a baby cap," but I figure anything that involves drilling and reaming out of pulp and covering with a little tooth hat sounds close enough to a root canal to me. I'm not sure how it quite got this far--I mean, we don't have the Sonicare toothbrush and a water pick, but we do, you know, brush his teeth twice a day and all try not to pack his molars with caramels or anything. But a few weeks ago Cal started complaining that one of his back teeth was hurting and I took him to the dentist and now here we are.
Cal has not notoriously been great with doctors (I blame poetic justice) but now that he's five and is at least approaching the age of reason, some combination of preparation and rationalization will temper the flight-or-flight response that typically characterized his medical interactions between the ages of two and four-and-a-half. Meaning he understands the need for doctors (occasionally) and will even comply with their exams, but when the pointy things start coming out, may the good lord help us all. Which is why I'm not really feeling great about the prospect of this root canal.
However, we're going to a pediatric dentist, and that helps immensely. Not only are they much more accustomed to dealing with kids (dur) but they have all sorts of enticements and incentives to get the kids to comply with their picking and drilling. I counted a total of four giant flat screen TVs playing all Pixar all the time, and that along with the embarrassment of riches that was the reward rack. (Strangely, the "treat" that captivated Cal the most was the new toothbrush and mini toothpaste, though certainly there were stickers and erasers and other tchotchkes that I'm still finding underfoot.) They made sure his first visit was a benign one, with just a tooth cleaning and X-rays, but obviously the next time we go we're going to have to Get Down To Business and I'm just not sure how that's going to fly.
However, to his (and their) credit, Cal did tremendously well the last time we were there (see the above picture, and his feigned nonchalance with the hand behind his head), and they say they use a little low-grade nitrous for sedation, at least during the local injection, so that's as much as I could ask for, I suppose. Actually, what I would ask for would be a pediatric anesthesiologist and a propofol infusion, but I will take what I can get.