Saturday, March 1, 2008 ;
3:31 PM
Feb 27


Brought both boys for a dental check-up. This paedriatic dentist had advertised in a coupon sent to my house, and provided free dental check-ups for kids 5 and under. I had already seen some cavities forming in ds2, but had put off visits to a dentist, because of the cost. Over here, health insurance does not usually cover dental fees, so you have to get an extra plan or a different insurance just for your teeth. A few checks with friends confirmed that.
Being afraid that ds2 teeth may drop off before we get back to Spore (where I intended to see the dentist myself), I scheduled an appointment.

The dental clinic is just 5-10min away from my house. It is a very child-friendly place indeed. From the Nintendo games, to a whole playroom stocked to the brim with all kinds of toys like a play kitchen, Fisher-price toys, to a very beautiful marine aquarium that even I enjoyed looking at.... it is definitely very impressive. The kids enjoyed the large wall-to-wall murals of Dr Seuss and friends characters. (We have tons of his books at home, so the kids could relate to them well.)

When it was our turn, we went in to find the TV screening Mr Incredibles, and the TV was placed overhead such that ds1 told me he could still watch the movie while his teeth were being checked! hmm...

Ds1 went onto the chair first, and I sat with ds2 nearby in the same room. The dentist told ds1 he was going to wear his "silly spects" to see his teeth better. That referred to the 2 magnifying lenses he put across his glasses. ds1 also had cavities! His were in between his teeth. Arrgh, no wonder I thought his teeth were fine cos I couldn't see them. He was given a kids' toothpaste and Oral-B kids toothbrush when he was done. He was allowed to pick a toy from a drawer full of treasures too.

Ds2's turn. Ds1 had been to the dentist with me in Spore, at NTUC Denticare (JP). But ds2 has never been. He refused to siton the chair, so the dentist checked him while he lay on my lap. ds2 was fine with that, and didn't cry or anything.
Sigh, the dentist confirmed my fears, he had quite a few cavities. His, of course, were visible.

The dentist asked me a few Qs to determine the reasons. The kids don't eat a lot of sweets at home, but they are allowed to drink soda and eat sweets outside, when other people give to them or when we dine out. There is of course, the cakes and cookies I bake. According to the dentist, that should be ok. So Dh and I came to the conclusion that it must be genetic. I myself had plenty of fillings. I know of friends who consume much more sugary food than me and seldom brush as frequently as me, but they had no cavities while I had so many. Dh himself had cavities before he turned 2 years old, his mom confirmed. Although I didn't have them so young, but I ended up having more teeth filled than him, cos I had cavities to my permanent teeth too.

Anyway, ds2 was given his freebies, then the dental assistant showed and gave me their dental charts with all the details of their teeth and where the cavities are. It's quite cute, she was highlighting the spots on this dental diagram on the computer and she printed out both copies for me. The dentist had left to see to the next patient.

She then told me the estimated costs for fixing everything, including ds2's sedation if he required fixing all the cavities, cos it is likely that he wouldn't be able to keep still for every tooth to be fixed. None of their teeth needed to be pulled out, but filling would take time too. They also wanted to do X-rays to determine if there were further cavities in between the teeth that are just starting out and are not visible now.

In fact, a lot of kids are sedated here when they have dental work done, whereas it is unheard of in Spore? Not sure, cos I am talking about my time. Of course, we were older when we really had teeth filled. Dh was very young when he had a cavity, but then in those days, parents will just let the tooth fall out eventually. I discussed this with Dh and did a lot more research when I got home. Finally we decided to go ahead, so we have an appointment made for 13th of March.

Anyway, the receptionist who made the appointment for me was surprised that ds1 didn't need sedation too. The dentist said he should be fine, and I think he will too. He's old enough to understand he shouldn't move when his teeth are being fixed. So ds1's estimated total cost was much lower. Ds2 needed sedation and more teeth to be fixed, so his total came up to more than $1K.

I wasn't too surprised because given my elbow bill of $550+, I inflated the normal dental fees in Spore also and did my own estimates already. I just set out to apply for more discounts with another organization that specialized in kids dental bills. Hopefully I get that!

I would also be discussing with the dentist about the need to treat every single tooth that he mentioned. There were 2 for ds2 that were for a surface resin, and maybe those can wait till we return to Spore.

Anyway, for the day's check-up, I didn't have to pay because of the coupon, so it was free.

rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow

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