Dentist – Week 3

My day had not been going that great anyway, and I wasn’t really looking forward to going to the dentist for the third week in a row. Things started out looking brighter though. We only waited a few minutes until Scott was called in for x-rays. Shortly after, they called me in to start my cleaning. The dental hygienist looked at the chart, noticed I was pregnant, and I informed her of the letter. She read it, checked with her supervisor, and came back. She said they’d do a cleaning, but no x-rays unless I actually had a toothache. It had been too long since I had full x-rays done, so I asked why. “It’s not good for the baby,” she says. “Are you crazy! It’s not even a miniscule amount of tiny light particles hitting me in the head, you’re going to put two shields on me, so that’s a bunch of lead protecting a baby that could easily withstand a full dose of x-rays coming right towards it!” Okay, I didn’t say that, I just gritted my teeth and let her do a cleaning. She was also worried about bacteria getting in through my gums to hurt the baby, which frustrated me more.

So I really wanted some x-rays done, so I told her about a small spot that had been hurting. Really it only hurt once every couple of months, but it was an excuse. This time a different technician who was the most pleasant person there puts not two, but three shields on me. One shield was actually two in one, and he had the first on already, so he just went with it. Okay lovely 0.9 mm of lead protection. He takes the two x-rays and the doctor checks them out. Turned out that the small spot was really a giant cavity forming under an existing filling, which meant I needed a root canal done by a specialist. “Oh great a root canal. I’m glad they found that, seeing as how they were so willing to ensure that I get proper dental care. Stupid legal system making people afraid to get sued, so they won’t take an x-ray of a pregnant woman.”

I had relaxed somewhat, but told the dentist that it had been a while since my last x-rays, and if I have something as bad as a root canal that isn’t causing me pain at all, maybe I should have the other teeth checked. After some prodding, he sends me back to the technician, only not the nice one this time, and she puts two shields on me. Then nice techinician walks by and doesn’t notice that I have two shields on, thinks I have just one and grabs the two-in-one shield from before…so now I’ve got four shields. He jokes about it though and realizes it was a mistake, so it was just funny. So the lady takes a few more x-rays, trying to get more teeth in each one, so as to take fewer. I wait another 10 minutes so they can develop, and the dentist notices something that worries him. He sends me back for two more x-rays! Nice x-ray guy says they should have just taken the full set in the first place…seriously. Ten minutes for developing and the dentist decides that I have another root canal and a deep cavity that will probably end up being a root canal too! Man! I have to have three root canals, and they never would have known, because my teeth don’t hurt at all and they didn’t want to x-ray me!

I’m not sure if you can actually do root canals while pregnant. That’s starting to get a little serious, so now I do feel like I should talk to my doctor and find out if I should wait.

Lesson:

Get x-rays done as often as possible to be sure nothing is wrong. I brush and floss everyday like recommended, but have always had bad luck with my teeth. I guess it’s genetic or something.

When pregnant, talk to your doctor to make sure there is no problem with you having dental x-rays, cleaning and minor work like fillings. Then go to the dentist before you’re starting to show that you’re pregnant and never mention pregnant, baby, expecting or anything to anyone! Get the work done that your doctor approved for you, then ask him about more. I guess it would be a good idea to have a husband or friend present during your dental treatment. Then if there was an emergency he or she could tell the dentist that you are in fact pregnant.

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