Taking Roger to the dentist in for a cleaning is bad enough, try having to get fillings.
In the past they just took him to the hospital and sedated him. He needs at least a 2 day warning that he is even going. This time he only had a 30 min warning; they had a same day appointment for all three kids. We found a really good pediatric dentist. He was the first to take my insurance that didn’t have a 6 month wait and he had a same day appointment for three kids. And he didn’t flinch when I said Roger has autism. Finding someone who can deal with autism and all its quirks who also accepts your insurance is hard. This dentist even called me back personally to answer all my questions before we came in. He also addressed that Roger had no warning so this may not go over well. He said we will try if it goes it goes if not we will reschedule him. No point in stressing him out. Lucky for us it worked out fine.
He did the initial exam and saw the anxiety Roger had and asked how we had done dental work in the past. We had moved here from out of state. He had only needed it once before and there was a lot to be done so that’s where the sedation came in. I am talking about full sedation. No eating after midnight, wake up early, drive to hospital and they take him back to a OR room to do dental work. This dentist thought we could do the small fillings without total sedation. The other thing he did was tell Roger every step of the plan so he knew what was going to happen.
The plan was for us to come in he would give Roger a mild sedative to help with the anxiety, wait an hour, use some laughing gas and do the work. The appointment was going to be a week later, so for the next week he asked the same questions over and over and we gave the same answers.
Guess what? It worked.
He was afraid of the needle they use to numb his mouth but the dentist was good and Roger didn’t even know a needle was used. The only down side was the medication made Roger obsess a little more for the rest of the day. But we were able to have the fillings done in one session without a lot of drama or anxiety for him.
I have to say the reason this all went so smoothly is the dentist. The way he responds to kids and even when autism came up he said: so how should I approach? Not the normal answer I had gotten from several pediatric dentists that said no, sorry we cannot help you. No questions about the situation or where on the spectrum Roger is – just nope. This one that we are seeing now is worth his weight in gold and I will and have recommended him to everyone I know special needs kids or not.