We had one horrible experience with dentistry in Delhi, whereby a tooth was extracted without enough novocaine (I won’t retell the story, for it will make my hair stand on end, and I’ve told it enough times that I should be numb to it already, no pun intended).
Somewhere in late spring of this year, we had some painful nights with our middle little. I received recommendations from a varied group of friends and ended up with a solid decision to see a specific dentist in Delhi. The office listened to my concerns about our previous horrid experience and prescribed a relaxant medicine for him to take so that he would be a bit loosie-goosie during upcoming treatments and off we went.
The first job was to do a checkup for both littles. Against my better judgment, I did not insist on x-rays, and instead relied on the Dentist’s suggestion that the tried and true process of using an explorer tool to see if there are any “sticky” points would determine whether they had cavities.
Hooray! No cavities for the littlest little, and just a couple of easy ones for the middle kid. We rescheduled for another appointment, dosed with the relaxant on the day of that appointment, cavities drilled and filled and off we went. Fairly painless appointment, both physically and mentally, and we all went home feeling a bit triumphant!
Simultaneously, we also had the biggest little undergo an exam, whereby 5-6 cavities were found, but with no urgency demonstrated by the Dentist, we decided to save the fillings for when we were stateside.
Fast forward to our first dental experience in Florida. We walked in, assuming we had just a checkup for the two littles, and one (maybe two) appointments for the Big Kid.
Sucker punch to the gut as New Dentist described all that was wrong with my children’s mouths. Namely 16 cavities (two of which were going to need root canals) for the Big Kid, 11 (I think I remember that right?) for the middle little and 6 for the littlest.
Not only that, but because of some nutrition gaps during the last three years, the littlest had decay on her ADULT teeth that were popping up as she lost a couple of baby teeth.
As I silently cursed the Delhi Dentist under my breath, I made appointment after appointment for my children, realizing that the first 3-4 weeks of their vacation would now be interspersed with uncontrollable slobber, pricks to the insides of their cheeks and “no drinking or eating until 6pm”.
Besides the fact that I felt a failure of a mother, to have not been more diligent with their dental care while in Delhi, I also felt deeply disappointed in the office to begin with. This office comes as one of the most highly regarded offices in the expat community, and is recommended by most embassy personnel. There is even a picture of a previous United States Ambassador and the family with said Dentist hanging in the office.
Are their little mouths ok now? Sure. They got most of the emergency work taken care of while in Florida and we will get the rest done in a couple of weeks after life settles down in Singapore.
If you see a doctor and do not feel that your child has gotten the best care, do not pass GO, see someone else. Get a second opinion.
[I’m closing comments because there’s really nothing to say, except for me to know that I shared the information … and hope that you take it to heart to always put your needs and those of your family, above any nervousness or fear of not knowing as much as a doctor.]