The Root of All Evil (or, the Dentist Cometh)

My Boo is the bravest little boy I know.

I’m sure my UK peeps are wondering “what’s the big deal”, but I must confess that I am one who needs a hit of nitrous oxide before the dentist can give me a shot of Novocaine, I get so nervous. Yes, we Americans are pampered a bit in the dentist chair and I wouldn’t have it any other way given the choice…I also have a very high tolerance to Novocaine, so I tend to get more than one shot myself in the course of any dental work….so the dentist really does strike fear into my heart. 

Continuing the saga of the abscessed tooth, we headed back to Hereford early this morning for yet another appointment at the dentist. Today’s visit should have seen the temporary fillings and packing removed and the permanent ones put in. Since his gums were still swollen and sore from the infection that reared its ugly head again, and as we only had 3 doses of antibiotics in him since the visit yesterday, I didn’t think the dental therapist would pull the d*mn tooth today.

I thought wrong. It makes sense that this is the only option left when the treatment failed, and heck, I should’ve guessed something was up when they led us to the surgery room in the rear of the office, and not the one that opens onto the waiting room…

Boo was upset but calm. The therapist started to give him a shot of Novocaine…and he yelled. The yell turned into a scream. The assistant attempted to distract him by telling him to lift his feet off the chair, and kick. He did. And continued yelling – doing flutter kicks all the while. Bless her, the therapist just talked calmly to him and kept that needle in.

She told him how brave he was, then told me that when she stuck the needle in, the infection, erm, came out. shudders I didn’t need that much info. And asked me how I was doing (as I quickly wiped the tears from my eyes).

Seriously, there is a reason why the parents wait in the waiting room back in the US.

She asked him if he wanted to see the “fingers” that she would use to take the tooth out. While I inwardly cringed, he nodded yes, and she showed them to him. He nodded again. She asked him if he wanted me to hold his hand for the next bit. I smiled bravely. She warned me that the “pop” usually was scarier than the pulling.

When I walked over to the chair, positioning myself next to him, the assistant gently guided me to the left – so I was facing him. And looking straight into his pie-hole at that godforsaken tooth as she gently clamped the…tooth-extractor-thingy onto it. My mind is running a mile a minute: “Oh, sweet Mother of God, give me strength – I seriously cannot look at that tooth while she -HOLY SHIT!” – POP

And she pulls out the mother of all baby teeth and tosses it on the tray.

No wonder he was screaming! I know I was supposed to be calm and supportive of Boo, but seriously? I’m pretty certain I had to look horrified. Poor boy. She looked at me, aghast, and whispered “that tooth had LEGS! I’m so sorry! Oh, we should have done an Xray last night….if I’d had known the roots were so big…I would have done it differently”.

Gee, thanks for sharing that.

Seriously, though – it has legs. That had to hurt like hell.

He sobbed and sobbed. I sat on the end of the chair with him and gave him a cuddle. Oh, I was heartbroken. I looked up at the dental therapist, and bless her heart, she looked upset, too. She told me “days like this, I wish I worked at Woolworths”.

Of course, it was only when I walked a still-sobbing boy (and I’m not talking a little whimper, I’m talking wracking sobs) through the lobby, all eyes on us, when I realized we likely were put in the back room so as not to terrify any nervous patients out there. I’m numb, to be honest because while he did get a shot of Novocaine (which helped the tooth, but not his infected gums, I’m sure) he did it without a hit of nitrous oxide.

Seriously, I needed a hit of NO just to watch that. I could still use one now, just thinking about it.

Ten minutes later I found myself in Sainsbury’s, buying a bag of frozen peas (the second in two days) to put on his face for the ride home. He hiccuped “what will we wrap it in” and Momma grabbed a set of dishcloths, too. And a police helicopter and van from the toy section. (Guilt would have had me tossing him the entire Wii section, had he asked, but he didn’t.)

By the time we were home and put another dose of Paracetamol in him, he had calmed down. A half-hour later he said he could eat something – and he packed away an entire can of Heinz Hoops and Hotdogs, a white roll, a mug of milk, and some chocolate buttons.

The Hubs popped in soon after to check on him, and Boo asked “Was I brave?” He proudly showed off the massive hole in his gum-line at school pickup time to anyone who would look. And now? He’s jumping on the trampoline with a friend, despite my warnings not to jump around too much.

Kids are more resilient than we give them credit for. They also have long memories, so I’m thankful for the kind and considerate treatment that Jilly the Dental Therapist gave him today – since we still have to go back in and get the other temporary filling replaced.

And I do think that my son is a very brave boy.

By the way: does anyone know how much the tooth fairy leaves for an extracted tooth?


  1. Holy cow! I think the tooth fairy budget should at least triple the regular amount. That thing has three legs for goodness’ sake!

  2. I totally agree – Emma lost her first tooth last month (and she’s 8) and i figured that since she had waited so long and may not even believe in the tooth fairy much longer, I gave her $10. That caused some uproar! And 2 weeks later, she had to have her other front baby tooth pulled – so I gave her $5. I think going through Novacaine has to be worth at least that!

  3. You better give him $10 at least….. Good grief those roots are huge!!!! Give him $5 from his aunt and i will send you money….poor kid….

  4. He deserves anything the toothfairy can fit in that pillow.

  5. Holy smokes! That tooth and the way it came out is a MINIMUM $20!

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