If you're the squeamish sort - especially about dental stuff - hit the "back" button NOW!
Still with me? Okay. Sunday morning in church, Son #3 (age 5 1/2) whispers to me, "Mommy, I have boo boo on my lip." He was pointed to his gum, however. I gently pull is lower lip to take a look. At the very bottom - where the lip meets the gum - was a hole. Yes, a hole.
But not just any hole. This one had - are you ready for this? - part of a tooth root (yes, ROOT) protruding. I almost fainted on the spot. Broken bones, stitches, blood? I can handle it. Tooth-related stuff? Nuh uh.
Son #3 has this pesky baby tooth that's been slightly loose for almost a year now. It's the bottom front, on the left. The permanent tooth is growing in right behind it. At his last check up in May, our dentist, Dr. C said if the tooth doesn't fall out by this upcoming visit - scheduled for Nov. 29, he would probably pull it.
I left a message on the answering machine at my dentist. They open at 9:00 a.m. on Monday so of course I was on the phone calling them again at 9:02. I know, I know. Give the receptionist a chance, sheesh. But hello? Hole? Tooth root? Come right in, she said. So we go. Son #3 meanwhile is handling it fine. It's tender, but not too bothersome to him. (Plenty bothersome to me.)
The dentist and the hygienist take a look and start saying stuff like, "Wow, would you look at that?" "Oh my, that really is a root." and my favorite: "I've never seen that before." Not what a mom wants to hear.
Dr. C used a cotton swap to push on the root to confirm that, thankfully, it's the root of the loose baby tooth and not the permanent tooth. Apparently since the permanent tooth grew in behind, and not beneath, the root of the baby tooth never dissolved as they usually do.
Dr. C is a family dentist but doesn't specialize specifically in pediatrics, nor is his office equipped to do sutures so he referred me to another dentist, Dr. Jill. Dr. C was concerned that if he pulled the baby tooth and the gum split, he wouldn't be able to stitch the gum.
Luckily, Dr. Jill's office was able to fit us in. She was able to extract the tooth without splitting the gum. Son #3 was thrilled that the tooth fairy visited him last night. As for me, I'm thrilled that the 4 1/2 hour ordeal is over.
Are you ready for a picture? It's not a great shot, but to the left of the tape measure is Son #3's baby tooth. It looks like an icicle. See the point of the root? OUCH! And it measure about 1/2 an inch. For comparison, on the right of the tape measure is Son #2's same baby tooth.