This morning was a tough morning for me. So tonight I guess it is not too surprising that I feel mostly like a limp vegetable. Vegging out – maybe that is what it means.

I was in the OR today – all day. There are always extra stresses doing treatment under time pressure. There is so much to do and we have given an estimate of how much time we think we will need so that we can reasonably get all our cases done in the time available. We try to estimate accurately but there are always surprises. Time consuming surprises.

The first case took about 3 hours instead of 2.

The patient was mentally challenged, a teen now. We have seen her for several years in our office, needing to do work for her under general anesthesia every couple of years. This year was not good. I suppose she doesn’t like to have her teeth brushed and likely her diet contains a lot of sugars. At least from the look of her teeth. I understand the difficulties of her caregivers but sometimes an easy diet or not insisting on simple hygiene habits can be devastating.

Her teeth were soft. 14 fillings and 5 extractions soft. The 5 teeth extracted were slated to have fillings only a few months ago. It is a long time since I have tried to do fillings on teeth where there was no line of demarcation between healthy enamel and decaying enamel. So the fillings just kind of went around, from one side to the other.

I don’t know if I did anything good for her or not. Oh, yes, for a few months the teeth I filled will be intact. But then what? I don’t usually feel hopeless, I don’t usually feel as if everything I am doing is for nothing, but that is how I felt this morning. I don’t like to think about what it will be like the next time I see her. She is only 15.

Sometimes what I do seems like such a tiny drop in the bucket.

Comments Off on Tired

Filed under Dealing with stuff, Dental

0 responses to “Tired

  1. What you do is an amazing gift to people. It is hard to see that gift mistreated or neglected. However, be encouraged that the alternative is far more hopeless. We’re praying for you!


  2. Geoff

    Tough case. And I can understand your frustration(?) (albeit a kind and understanding frustration that shows you care!) at the caregivers in this case. And it must feel a bit like you’ve tried, but in a few months, the teeth will (may?) just be, as you say, soft, again.

    I think what’s important though is that you’ve hopefully got her out of pain for the time being. It must feel frustrating, but you’ve given the caregivers a fighting chance to change. They may (or, seeming as how human behavior goes, more likely may not) change, but you did what was right and good and that’s what’s important.

    I’m just amazed that you experienced folks can do things like 14 fillings and 5 extractions in 3 hours!