Thursday, October 4, 2007

A fine day at the Dentist

A month and a half ago, Tamara had a horrible day at the dentist with Shantal. Today I had a wonderful day.

Our son Spencer went in to have 2 baby teeth pulled. The reason for pulling the teeth was to help his permanent teeth to grow in with proper alignment. He has too many teeth for his little jaw and the teeth are already a bit out of alignment. He saw an orthodontist (Keiferorthopädin) for the lack of space on Monday and this was her recommendation. We went to the Dentist on Monday to verify that everything was OK after a boy punched Spencer's tooth out at school in early September.

Here is the story of why I am so filled with love and awe for my son today.

On Monday morning, October 1st at the orthodontist Spencer found out that the dentist would have to pull 2 baby teeth (Milchzähne). Pulling the two baby teeth now will hopefully make a bit more room for the permanent teeth (bleibende Zähne) currently growing in and help with the alignment of the teeth generally. Spencer immediately said I want to have grandpa there with me. Grandpa, a dentist, was with us at the appointment on Monday and flying back to the U.S. on Friday, October 5th. So it was a long shot at best. I called the dentist on Monday and they had an appointment on Thursday afternoon at 2:15 p.m. I took it.

Last night my dad and I gave Spencer a priesthood blessing that he would be able to endure the procedure, with no ill effects, that he would be able to heal quickly, and that the Spirit of the Lord would be with the doctor.

Spencer was a bit nervous today, but that's pretty normal. When we got to the dentist he was admirable. The dentist is very good, and his assistant also specializes in children's dentistry. They numbed the gums a bit and then gave Spencer the shot and Spencer didn't flinch. Shantal almost passed out. We waited about 10 minutes and Spencer's face (upper left cheek & lower right chin) was very numb and he talked about a bit funny. Shantal asked if she could go to the waiting room. And, just before the dentist came back in Grandpa said jokingly, if we wait much longer I'm just going to jump over there and pull the teeth myself.

The dentist came back in and started prepping Spencer for the pulling of the teeth. By this point I was nervous, but went over to Spencer to hold his hand (the assistant wasn't in the room yet). Spencer said to me, who asked you to come over and help? I asked, did you want grandpa to come over? Spencer said of course. Grandpa came over to be near Spencer. The assistant came in about this same time.

Spencer was still a bit nervous and resistant about the dentist pulling the teeth and the dentist was talking him into it a bit. Then the dentist had a brilliant idea - why not let grandpa pull the teeth! He pulled out gloves and gave them to my dad. He handing my dad the dental pliers for the bottom tooth and grandpa started pulling. The assistant held Spencer's hands/arms (just in case) and talked with him about what was happening. At this point I couldn't watch too much (I'm a bit like Shantal I guess), but before I knew it (and before Spencer knew it), the first tooth was out. The dentist handed my dad the 2nd dental pliers and he pulled out the top tooth. Spencer felt that one a bit and squirmed, but who wouldn't. And then that tooth was out as well.

Spencer was very happy after the procedure. He had done it. He took the shot, let the dentist (grandpa) pull out the tooth, and didn't even cry.

For me it was a great day - to see Spencer and my dad together with this kind and gentle dentist here in Germany. I was in awe of my son and truly filled with love for him. I also realized that Shantal cares for people so much that she can't stand to see the suffering. Tamara is a bit like that. Hates pain and seeing suffering (even her own), but when called up she endures phenomenal amounts of pain to carry, deliver, and nourish children.

It was a fine day at the dentist.

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March 2007