Category Archives: Dental

Baffled

How do I help a patient who has jaw pain mostly when she puts on her lipstick?

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That was a nasty bite!

Last day of work.

Yipee!  Vacation has begun.  I think half my patients today thought I had already left.  They didn’t chance it so stayed away.  No kidding!  50% no shows!

I went by the grocery store on the way home to get some pork chops – the really nice ones.  Thick.  Already seasoned.  Just right for the barbeque.

They were all sold out.  Not to be outdone – and as a result a lot less money spent – I found the thickest ones I could and bought those instead.

They had bones.  My piece had a couple of little slivers of bone on the side where the meat should be.  As I bit into this wonderful piece of meat, there was a tiny crunch.  Yep, you guessed it.  A chunk of tooth was neatly deposited onto the counter where I sat.  The whole lingual cusp of tooth 45.  No pain really.  Except if I touched it directly with my tongue.  Hard not to do when one is eating. 

What to do?  Call  Cheryl Lyn the locum dentist of course.  No answer. 

I am the dentist on call.  I looked to see if this was something I would attempt myself. 

Not with trifocals. 

So I called one of my wonderful assistants.  She was home and came down right away to fix up the boss! 

I owe her big time.  What a way to start vacation.

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Frustrating

Today was our regular biweekly sedation occasion.  
Every two weeks we give some unlucky child the chance to be sedated while having their dental work done.

The fact that they will not sit in the chair short of some major restraining force being exercised against them has something to do with the choice.  A parent usually wants their little terror not to have to experience the horrors or pain of dentistry so in the interests of their child being "out of it" for the necessary work, we give them a tasty little drink – grape juice laced with a nice little bitter amnesiac.

At least half the time it works slick.  The kid drinks the drink without barfing.  Fifteen minutes later they could care less if we do their work, freezing and all.  We carry them into the "quiet room", close the door, wrap them like a cocoon, and get the work done with no incident.  It is safe and we know that most of what we do will not be remembered by the child.  In theory it makes it easier for the child to come back since they don’t remember a bad experience.

Today was our regular biweekly sedation occasion.  
Every two weeks we give some unlucky child the chance to be sedated while having their dental work done.

The fact that they will not sit in the chair short of some major restraining force being exercised against them has something to do with the choice.  A parent usually wants their little terror not to have to experience the horrors or pain of dentistry so in the interests of their child being "out of it" for the necessary work, we give them a tasty little drink – grape juice laced with a nice little bitter amnesiac.

At least half the time it works slick.  The kid drinks the drink without barfing.  Fifteen minutes later they could care less if we do their work, freezing and all.  We carry them into the "quiet room", close the door, wrap them like a cocoon, and get the work done with no incident.  It is safe and we know that most of what we do will not be remembered by the child.  In theory it makes it easier for the child to come back since they don’t remember a bad experience.

Trouble is, I think we need some sort of drink for the parents.  Their memories are too good.  If the sweet little thing with the painfuly abcessed tooth cries, they wonder if we were proceeding without enough freezing.  And in spite of all our wornings about the medication often causing the child to become very angry as it wears off, they assume the crying and kicking and rolling on the floor in anger is due to pain.

It seems like we just can’t win.  We are trying to help by offering this service and most parents just don’t seem to understand the value of what we are providing for them. 

About half our patients just do not call to confirm if they are coming or not.  Today only 2 of 6 children booked had parents that took the time to confirm the appointment.

I just have a hard time understanding parents that would rather let their child’s teeth decay than keep an appointment to fix them.  Believe me cost is not a factor.  

Very frustrating.  I am needing some way to solve this situation before my staff gives up on trying to track down and book these kids.

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You've Got to Love

…a patient who slips a handful of Lindor chocolate balls into your pocket as you do her dental check-up. 

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Misadventures of the day

Today seemed to be a journey from one misadventure to another.  

 

We arrived at the hospital after stopping at Tim’s for coffee on the way – not a winning cup among them.  

 

Thankfully, we decided to check out the dental unit before putting the patient in the room.  Maybe there was some value in having the slowest anaesthetist in the place this morning.  The dental unit is attached to an oxygen tank that runs at 1700 psi through a valve that brings it down to 80 psi or so.  The valve blew.  That is a mighty big puff of air!  

 

Forty five minutes later, maintenance had the problem solved and as well promised to repair the other stand-by unit.  

 

All the kids ended up being bigger cases than we anticipated.  That is sort of par for the course.  A lot can change in the year or so that it takes us to get someone in to the OR for dental work.  

 

And then our anaesthetist, being on call, ran off to maternity to give some labouring woman an epidural – another 30 minute wait.  

 

Last case – in the middle, we blew an air line somewhere in the unit.  Thank God we had that stand-by unit ready to go.

 

Today we were not running to meet a deadline in the OR.  But, we had patients booked at the office at 1:30.  We made it back there by 2:30.

 

At 2:30, I had to deal with a patient who brought in a denture (hers, I guess) that some denturist had made upon her request.  She figured it was time for herself to have a complete upper denture.  She wanted me to take out all 11 of her upper teeth and fit that denture for her.  I asked if anyone had checked her teeth before she made this decision – No.  I suggested she think it over and perhaps come in for a check–up so we could see if she actually had any teeth that needed to be extracted.  

 

I am afraid I sent her home thinking I am totally unreasonable.  

 

And now to top off an mis – eventful day, I just burnt the pizza.

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He Got It!

Over the past year or so, I have been collecting dental supplies to send out to the dental clinic at Karawa Hospital.  I even had a donation of dental extraction forceps from my dental supply company (Henry Schein Ash Arcona) through the guy we deal with all the time and his boss.  Shipping things out to the Congo is no easy matter.  It is risky to ship by any means and very expensive.  So getting connected with an old time Congoite ex-missionary (if one can be called an ex-missionary and still be so involved in missions) was an answer to prayer.  Shelon is Canadian, no less, works with Health Partners International and so that simplifies the whole shipping process.  He has found that the easiest and least expensive way to get valuable supplies out there is to make a trip out himself and hand deliver the stuff.  He takes little baggage of his own and ships many trunks as excess accompanied baggage.  So those time dated medications don’t outdate and he knows they get there. 

He made a trip out in Jan.  he is back and sent me this picture.

Songo, one of the men I trained, has received the trunk I sent. 

A picture is really worth a thousand words.

Sheldon plans another trip in May.  This time I can send some materials that I couldn’t send in winter for fear of them freezing.  Must buy another trunk.  Must order local anesthetic and some filling supplies. 

Anyone want to help, contact me.

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Staff party

We always have a couple of parties at Christmas.  There is the sort of formal invite your spouse party that we have catered. 

This year that one happened back on the 9th.  We ate a great meal drank a fair amount of good stuff and then went glow bowling, where some of our illustrious staff members drank a little more good stuff.  The bowling seemed to deteriorate as we went along – scores that is.  The games did get funnier.

Tonight we had our wind-up staff party. 

Some of our staff did get wound- up.  We had a talent contest, of sorts.  I got a lovely shot of W. V. in a Sumo wrestling suit.  I may post pictures or maybe I will just keep them for blackmail later on.  If I post them I can never tell you her real name.  I just may post them!

We had a fun time – much laughter and lots of pizza.  Did the Chinese gift exchange thing.  I wonder how it came to be labeled as chinese?

Now here I am in Saskatoon.  Patrick has some surgery – a hernia repair tomorrow.  I will just be a mom anxiously waiting for him to come of of the anesthetic.  Prayers are always welcome.  And thanks.

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