Thursday, May 8, 2014

PFAPA and Abbie's Teeth

About a year and a half ago we began noticing that Abbie's two front teeth were discolored.

 At my dentist appointment I asked my dentist advice and he told me about a pediatric dentist in Columbia.  My husband took her to the consultation appointment and made an appointment to have a root canal and then a bridge put in.  I had to accompany and the appointment was awful.  They had Abbie in twilight and she reacted badly.  She threw up time after time and finally after doing the root canal on both teeth, the dentist came in and told us she had to stop.  The rest of the procedure would have to be done in an hospital under anesthesia.  Of course the bill was for the full $800 which had been the estimate for the root canals and bridge.  I was so mad.  And to have the second procedure we would have to take Abbie to a pediatrician that was associated with the local hospital for a physical before they would even schedule.  I'm thinking of how much this would cost...the pediatrician, the dentist (again), anesthesia, hospital....OMG!  She's only two and these are baby teeth and we already paid out over $800!
And don't get me started on the judging.  Did I let her go to sleep with a bottle?  No, she was breastfed.
Did I brush her teeth?  Yes, just the same as I did her brother and he doesn't have a single cavity.  Did I give her sweets?  No way!  Sometimes her grandparents did, but they gave the same thing to Harrison.  Did I introduce adult bacteria by putting her paci in my mouth?  Ew!  Gross!  No way!  Then they would give me that look that I did something wrong.
What aren't they taking into consideration?  Abbie has PFAPA.  She has been having fevers every month during those early years and as a result the enamel on her teeth did not form properly.  My dentist upon looking at her teeth at that very first time said that her front two teeth had no enamel.
Needless to say we did not go back to that pediatric dentist!  I had an appointment for Abbie and Harrison at my next cleaning and they both handled their cleanings like champs.  The dentist started naming letters of the alphabet for Abbie's teeth with decay.  He almost said the whole alphabet.  I didn't know what to do.  I wasn't taking her back to that lady in Lexington.  My dentist didn't work on three year olds.  He didn't endorse any of the pediatric dentist in Aiken.  The really good one in Augusta was out of my network.  I just started calling any place in Aiken that claimed they were pediatric dentist.  Abbie needed help.  Most said they didn't work on children younger than six.  What the heck!
Finally got an appointment with a doctor one road over from my dentist.  I took Abbie to her consultation. She fought him and refused to let him look in her mouth.  I had to hold her down.   He suggested we try valium before the appointment and he would give it a try.  First visit went amazing.  She was hilarious as she tried to walk.  She swayed all over and couldn't stand straight.  I was rather ticked with the dentist.  We had an 8 am appointment and didn't get called back until 8:30.  Then he didn't even arrive until 9.  He is a professional who shows up whenever he wants.  I wasn't impressed.  If I did such a thing I would be fired, yet people give teachers a hard time.  I don't get it.  Anyway he came in and Abbie just sat there and did what he asked.  She didn't fight against him.  He filled all of the cavities on the bottom.  He did it so quick that I couldn't believe he had gotten so much done so quickly.  He used white filling which made me happy and the price couldn't be beat!  By this time I had forgiven him for being so late.
I couldn't take off again to take Abbie to her second appointment and figured since she did so well that mom could handle taking Abbie.  Boy was I wrong.  I had a card that said her appointment was at 8 am.  I got a phone call confirming my appointment at 9 am.  However it didn't register that the time was different.  I mean, if they had changed my time shouldn't they have said they had called to reschedule my appointment for 9?  So before I left for work at 7, I gave Abbie her valium and figured it wouldn't wear off by the time she got to her appointment.  NOPE!  She ended up not going back until 9:30 and the valium had worn off completely.  She fought.  Mom held her down.  Mom wrapped her legs around her.  Two dental hygienist had to hold her arms and her face.  The dentist didn't talk to Abbie and explain what was going on or to mom.  He only talked to his dental hygienist.  Mom didn't like him at all.  Changing appointments without real notification when Abbie's medication clearly depended on time, not having good bedside manner, being chronically late to both of the appointments....Needless to say we are not going back.  He filled three cavities on top on one side.  She still has the right side to go plus a rather large one.
And now to our big news.  The other day Abbie was riding on the Gator with mom when she fell and hit the wooden edging with her mouth.  Her left front tooth started bleeding and was knocked really loose.  Great!  What dentist do I call?  Do I call?  Do I just let it fall out?  Do I pull it?  Is she really going to have to do a year to two without a front tooth!
It's been loose for three days.  We kept asking if she would let us pull it, but she said she was scared.  We even tried bribes.  If she let us pull the tooth she could open one of her birthday presents early.  No luck!  Tonight, two days after her fourth birthday, while eating a cheese stick her tooth just fell out.  It looks awful.  Horribly discolored and we could see where it had been filled.  But she feels so much better.
Here is my gap toothed beauty!
She also got to open a birthday gift early instead of waiting on her birthday party on Saturday.  She picked the gift from Pa-Paul and got a Doc McStuffins Doctor Computer.

6 comments:

  1. Hi, my child (5 years old) has PFAPA as well. At his most recent checkup, we learned he has 10 cavities, needs 1 tooth extracted and 1 crown. His sister has no cavities (and no PFAPA) and we follow the same tooth-brushing regimen for both of them. I was wondering if his autoimmune issues are contributing to his tooth decay. Did you ever find out more about a correlation between the two?

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    1. Yes, there is a link. Fevers strip the enamel off of their teeth so they are vulnerable to decay. If a fever takes place during the development of the teeth then they are damaged and there is very little you can do. All of Abbie's back teeth are silver crowns and she has spacers to help keep her teeth from moving where they extracted teeth. She has her first permanent tooth coming in right now and there is no way of knowing if it has been damaged or not.

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    2. Thanks for replying! Can you post links with the info explaining the correlation between the fevers and tooth enamel lost?

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  3. This is our story with our son, almost to a tee, and I'm sobbing. I know exactly what you went (are going) through. I had no idea PFAPA was contributing to my son's teeth issues until tonight. He's had several extractions, a cap, and numerous cavaties filled. And it's not my fault! I could hug you. Best of luck to Abbie and your family! It's a hard road we've been walking for 8 years now.

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  4. This is our story with our son, almost to a tee, and I'm sobbing. I know exactly what you went (are going) through. I had no idea PFAPA was contributing to my son's teeth issues until tonight. He's had several extractions, a cap, and numerous cavaties filled. And it's not my fault! I could hug you. Best of luck to Abbie and your family! It's a hard road we've been walking for 8 years now.

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