The following day, Nathan went to school under the watchful eyes of his classroom teachers. After this x-ray, and the ones yet to come, we were going to do everything possible to keep his tooth in for a long as possible. We cut everything up and won't let him bite into anything using that tooth. If he was verbal and possessed the ability to produce sounds like "th and f, " then it wouldn't be such a big deal, but it is. He won't have the ability to even learn how to produce these sounds until he's probably eight years old.
After school, we headed to the pediatric dentist for his initial consult. Nathan ended up having Dr. Christine because Dr. Jason was on vacation. What a great kid friendly dentist office! I was really glad we chose this dentist and have to thank my friend Lisa Carney for the recommendation! Another neurotic mommy of a super special kid.
|Look Mom, a t.v. and it's playing Toy Story!|
After the initial exam, Dr. Christine gave us the sobering news: Nathan's front tooth is loose to the touch, he is missing four baby teeth, and the enamel on his back teeth didn't form correctly and calcium has built-up, which will eventually eat away at his teeth. (WHAT? This gets worse?) This was a classic example of: when you think things are bad, just wait - they'll get worse.
So, here's the bottom line ~ Nathan is missing both of his eye teeth on the top and the bottom. Just upon examination, she said that, if they're not present as a child, they probably won't be as an adult. Sometimes, this happens ~ the body just doesn't produce all of the "normal teeth." I think she said, this happens in about 2% of the population.
The enamel issue is a rather big deal too because the calcium buildup will eat away at his molars and those teeth will eventually decay and need to be removed. But as the doctor said, Nathan needs those teeth until he's about 10, so we need to do something to protect them. We now have to apply a Mi Paste to his teeth every night before bed. The paste breaks down the calcium and will keep his teeth healthy. I don't know if any of you are aware of Nathan's love of teeth brushing, but it's just slightly less unpleasant than his hair cutting fits It's a daily struggle, but we are absolutely seeing improvement. His speech therapist has been working on it at school for us too. It's made a difference. Anyway, I actually thought Nathan's teeth were yellowing because I wasn't brushing them good enough, but that's not the case. The first night I applied the Mi Paste, he bit me so hard, I was in tears.
Next up ~ the x-ray. The results showed that Nathan indeed has fractured his other front tooth and that we can expect it to loosen up and fall out. We also learned that his "missing" teeth are in fact in his mouth, but are impacted. It appears Nathan didn't have room for them to come in, so they didn't. The only upside to Nathan knocking his front teeth out is that the ones missing on the top may now come in. However, if none of them come through by age six, they'll need to be surgically removed. As will his adult teeth. We are going to have a long and very expensive relationship with the dentist.
After learning all of this information, my greatest concern is still with Nathan's speech and his ability to make certain sounds. I asked the doctor if we could bond the current tooth that is still pretty tight with the one next to it, so we can save it for as long as possible. Hopefully, just long enough to learn how to produce those sounds and then let it fall out. She said, no we couldn't because she believes the tooth is just too detached from the root for it to be successful. I also asked if it were possible to put artificial teeth in his mouth until he could learn to speak. Yes, but again, she didn't think it was going to work for Nathan because 1. they would have to cement a retainer to back teeth that he may not want to tolerate, 2. Nathan wouldn't sit that long, and 3. he may pull them out.
I'm not satisfied with having no options. We're going to seek a second opinion next week, when Dr. Jason returns from vacation. We're also going to discuss sealing his molars to prevent decay. Nathan has appointments scheduled every three months for a while, so I'll keep you posted on any new developments. Thanks for stopping by.