Monday, February 1, 2016

In Praise of Pediatric Dentists

Growing up, I had the world’s worst dentist. He wasn’t just a bad dentist, he was a bad person.

I had lots of cavities as a kid, which he filled without any pain relief. Maybe he couldn’t be bothered. Maybe he enjoyed torturing children. I remember him yelling at me when I moved while he was drilling. I was about 5. And no, I hadn’t bitten him. I should have.

But when my kids were small and I, with trepidation, would mention an upcoming dentist appointment, they would say, “Yay!”

Because they went to pediatric dentists.

Indeed, even though they’re older, they still go to their pediatric dentist.

If I could, I’d go to her too.

Everybody in the office is nice. If there’s any possibility of pain, which there usually isn’t, kids don’t get cavities like I did anymore, great care is taken to alleviate it.

And you’re not shamed for the state of your teeth. When I was a kid, basically I was told I was dirty and that’s why I had so many cavities. But it just happens that my teeth, thanks to genetics, are shaped with deep grooves which are difficult, maybe impossible, to keep clean. (Sealants help immensely with this problem.) My son has the same – and that’s what he’s told. Not his fault (no shame), even though it is his problem (here’s what you need to do).

Really, is that so hard?

Have to say: not everyone is cut out to be a pediatric dentist. I brought my kids to one that tried to sell my 12-year-old daughter on cosmetic treatments for her teeth, which entailed telling her there was something wrong with how they looked and doesn’t she want them to be pretty?

So, yes, some assholes still become dentists.

Choose your dentist with care.

1 comment:

  1. Sadly, you are right about the assholes. My husband was a dentist and saw mainly children in the practice where he was the associate of an older dentist. The kids loved my husband because he never hurt them. Some kids would put up a terrific struggle because they were scared, but after their treatment they would come back the next time all smiles. The whole ceiling of his operatory was covered with "thank you" drawings from his patients. Parents would bring their kids in as "test cases" to see how things went, and then they would make appointments for themselves when they saw how happy the kids were. Lol