Sunday, November 30, 2014

Smiling all the way from the dentist

We use these
It was back to the dentist for C. today. I just love that place and not only because it exclusively treats patients with disabilities. So far, C. has aced every visit. She’s 100% cavity-free.

I'd like to say it's my thorough care that's done it. But I only brush her teeth once a day and occasionally even less often. Perhaps it’s the state-of-the-art toothbrush I’ve used (over there on the right) ever since the dental hygienist recommended it a few years ago. Or the Modified Atkins Diet (virtually no carbs) which C. is still on for the epilepsy – it’s virtually carb-free.

In any case, today was particularly pleasant because we were in and out of the office after a cleaning and an exam (no x-rays) in a half hour. C. was as cooperative as always – wish she were less so.

The icing on the cake was the low fee charged thanks to government subsidization of the clinic.

I've already written about the restraints – a.k.a. “medical immobilization” – used at this clinic on the patients in order to eliminate the need for general anesthesia. [See my earlier post "A visit to the dentist", February 24, 2013] I was shocked to learn that some disabilities activists oppose them on the grounds that they are a civil rights violation.

C. in the dentists' chair today
This article ["Consent, restraint, and people with special needs: a review" 2009, M. Romer, Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health] from the journal Special Care Dentist, addresses the issues involved,  noting "This area is controversial and has even resulted in legal difficulties for some dentists".

I think that's all a load of bunk. Surely, when the only other option is general anesthesia, the choice is a no-brainer.

Until I learned of this clinic’s existence, I never brought C. to the dentist. The only other dental clinic in this city for people with disabilities insists on administering a general. And I wasn’t going to run the risks involved in that. So I just can’t fathom the downside to restraints.

How about you?

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

I don't know what I think of the restraint system used. Perhaps for some children, the tight, bound feeling is a good one -- sort of like the papoose thing that many autistic persons crave. On the other hand, I can't imagine struggling inside of one of those -- how helpless and awful it must feel. I don't believe there's downside to trying it, though. Bringing my daughter to the dentist is such a nightmare for me and sort of dangerous, to tell you the truth. I have to literally hold her down myself by practically lying on top of her, and she doesn't squirm because she's in pain -- she squirms and bats the hands of the hygienist, she doesn't open her mouth on command -- it's all so difficult. I have never gone the anesthesia route either because of the obvious.