Joshua visits a special needs dentist every three months these days, since he stopped eating 18 months ago, due to undetected abscesses and tooth decay. He had an appointment there at 8.30 yesterday morning, so we went on the way to school. He was pleased to be there and spent the first few minutes after we arrived, waving at the reception staff cheerily. But then I had to complete some paperwork, he became bored and so he began to kick my shins and then the reception counter, until I gave him a pen and some scrap paper, so that he could join in and fill in forms too.
When the dental nurse called us through, he suddenly became very attached to the chairs in the waiting room and he moved from one to the other, as we tried to persuade him into the surgery. He then had to be persuaded to sit in the big dentists chair, so that the dentist could look inside his mouth. he cooperated for a short while, long enough for her to see that I need to try harder to access the bottom of his teeth, where they meet his gums. I always consider it a success if he will allow his electric toothbrush in his mouth for more than 30 seconds, so I will focus on different areas of his mouth first in the future.
Last July he was sedated so that another dentist could remove troublesome, rotten teeth, add fillings and have a proper look around. She told me that he would be seen again in six months time for another examination and clean, so I have been expecting an appointment through the post since the new year but nothing has arrived as yet. Before we know it, that appointment will be a whole year ago and so I asked his dentist to chase up the referral for us. She agreed to do that, but added that due to the long waiting list for such sedated treatment, realistically, it was never going to be in six months time, 12-18 months was much more likely. Luckily I do not think that Joshua is in tooth -pain at present, but even if he was, this would be the expected delay, which is really not good enough.
We were only in the surgery for 5 minutes, and then we picked up another appointment for 3 months time and headed into school. He was very excited to get to school and he ran into his classroom and sought out his teaching assistant, so I left him in his happy place, clearly not traumatised at all by his visit to the dentist.