Being Brave
June 17, 2012 12:50 PM   Subscribe

Before and after photographs of children who have had teeth removed. Part of a exhibition showcasing behind the scenes observations of The Children's Hospital, Sheffield
posted by fearfulsymmetry (23 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
It's like a before and after of torture victims. Well, orthodontists are worse.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:54 PM on June 17, 2012

Number 8, you poor thing!
posted by Jehan at 1:00 PM on June 17, 2012

I feel bad for the little girl at the end of the "photographs" link. Not because she's been taken apart by an evil evil dentist (they're all evil) but because someone got blood on her top.

I think I just lost another "man point"...
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 1:01 PM on June 17, 2012 [4 favorites]

The poor kids often look dazed, but still, they got GENERAL anesthesia? Lucky things!

I grew up in Montreal before the municipal water was fluoridated and was unlucky enough to inherit my Dad's tendency to develop cavities. I had at least two baby molars, maybe three, pulled by kindly Dr. Hébert and his Needle of Doom before I was 11. He was the one who told me that I had my Dad's "soft" teeth, as he and his Pliers of No Mercy went back for another go on the molar that had crumbled on his first attempt.

I had no idea fillings were even a thing until I moved to Toronto in my teens, where I went cavity free for over a decade due to fluoridated water and getting even more fluoride from a major tea monkey on my back. My next cavity, diagnosed on my first dentist visit for over a decade, was tiny and easily filled, and the dentist agreed to drill without novocaine.
posted by maudlin at 1:06 PM on June 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

I assume they get general to avoid the whole holding-them-down-while-they-freak-out thing. My kid is fighting me tooth (ha) and nail re regular/effective brushing, and I have visions of a million fillings between now and when he's grown. I wish he'd stop thinking it was funny to do a shitty job brushing your teeth.
posted by emjaybee at 1:10 PM on June 17, 2012

Only the girl seems to be happily smiling in the before picture, maybe because she's younger (?)

The boy with glasses looks a bit terrified and the other two boys are smiling nervously
posted by knoyers at 1:19 PM on June 17, 2012

Obligatory: David After the Dentist.
posted by ericb at 1:46 PM on June 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

The trick, emjaybee, is to get your kids hooked on a short-lived tv show about a socially clueless dentist and the ghost of a punk rock star. The dentist insists her kids brush for "10 seconds, each and every tooth!".

My kids have never been so enthusiastic about brushing as they are now. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and bank account, Suzy Darling.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 1:59 PM on June 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

"The poor kids often look dazed, but still, they got GENERAL anesthesia? Lucky things! "

i don't know if that's common practice here, but for the only extraction I had as a kid (eight milk teeth - look, I didn't look after my teeth as a kid, OK?) I was put under. I remember coming round and spitting what I thought was blood, then falling asleep in a taxi. The moral of the story is to learn how to cope with the gagging that comes with toothpaste. When I had a root canal at 16 I was given local anaesthetic.

I developed a phobia of needles/injections a few years ago and was told that general was only offered as a matter of course to kids and for adults it was an extra £150. I was SO happy when my filling was damaged and they could replace the emergency filling without injecting me at all. (I had to have several injections for the emergency replacement, but I was in so much pain and so antsy after queueing for two hours at the dental hospital that they could have hit me with a wok and I wouldn't have cared.) Valium is cheaper than general anaesthetic and my dentist is happy to provide me that, but thankfully I've not had to have any proper work needed for a couple of years.
posted by mippy at 2:35 PM on June 17, 2012

Actually, given how negligent I was as a kid (and/or good at pretending) I'm lucky to have two fillings and a root canal (now with a crown thanks to some confusing African sweets breaking the tooth) and nothing else needed.
posted by mippy at 2:37 PM on June 17, 2012

I had horrible teeth as a child: cavities, silver crowns, spacers, rubber damns, some weird orange teeth container that was filled with a jelly like substance (almost certain this was fluoride/whitener), these were the things that made up my trip to the dentist growing up.

It was only years later that I found out my dad was getting a discount because there was a program where you'd allow dental school students to perform at a local college (apparently supervised by official dentists), money was tight, my teeth were crooked. Dad did what he had to do to make sure my teeth were better. My teeth are great today but I have no desire to click on those images. I dislike the dentist, spent too much time in that chair as a child. Thanks but no thanks.
posted by Fizz at 3:10 PM on June 17, 2012

I am so glad I inherited my mom's wonderful teeth (she has no cavities at age 56), instead of my dad's horrible ones (cavity after cavity, so many root canals). I don't think either of them brushes any differently, if anything I'd say my dad is more religious about flossing. I think it's just genetics with him mostly, since his sisters have similarly horrible teeth. I've not had a single cavity until now (age 26) though I should probably take better care of my teeth (brush more, floss more).
posted by peacheater at 3:40 PM on June 17, 2012

maudlin, Montreal water has never yet been fluoridated. Our dentists stay busy.
posted by zadcat at 3:41 PM on June 17, 2012

The dentist insists her kids brush for "10 seconds, each and every tooth!".

That is way too much brushing. Are you sure this wasn't an exaggeration, for comic effect?

It is easy to brush too much, which can wear away tooth enamel and cause pitting. This happened to my sister, she was a fanatic for brushing and actually wore grooves in her teeth, she needed extensive repairs. My dentist recommends 15 seconds per quadrant, inner and outer, then another 15 sec each for the inner surfaces of the upper and lower front teeth. So that's about 150 seconds, less than half the 320 sec your method suggests.
posted by charlie don't surf at 3:47 PM on June 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

I lost a front tooth the hard way as a three year old ( I wandered in front of a swing), and I sympathize with those poor kids immensely. It looks as though they were well drugged though, and hopefully they'll at least avoid the heartbreak of hearing "All I want for Christmas (is my two front teeth)" on a regular basis for most of their childhood.
posted by peppermind at 4:25 PM on June 17, 2012

I'm scheduled to have a broken molar extracted later this month. I was already apprehensive before seeing how brutalized these poor kids look.
posted by jamincan at 5:37 PM on June 17, 2012

charlie don't surf: 32 teeth is the complement of an adult mouth, after the third molars have come in. Brushing every one of the 20 baby teeth for 10 seconds is not so different from brushing each of those 10 surfaces for 15 seconds.
posted by gingerest at 5:58 PM on June 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ah, well you can tell I don't have kids, nor do I have any particular reason to know the number of baby teeth.
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:07 PM on June 17, 2012

I had just fine teeth as a kid -- that is, the structural integrity of my teeth were all fine. The trouble was, they were too big for the jaw they came in (I got one parent's jaw, the other parent's teeth). I had to get four teeth yanked just to fit everything in my mouth. Local anesthetic only, it hurt, and the dentist told my mother to have me chew on a wet tea bag to deal with the oozing blood (my mother tried to cheer me up by telling me to pretend I was our neighbor's cat after he'd caught a mouse).

Years later, when my wisdom teeth all had to come out, I told the oral surgeon to "knock me the fuck out for the love of God".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:09 PM on June 17, 2012

Empress, until about four seconds ago, I had no idea there was a sickening somatic memory of the intense flavor of too much blood, undiluted tea, sour saliva, and fresh gauzepads lurking in my brain. URGH.
posted by gingerest at 11:14 PM on June 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Aww, I feel violently protective of those kids seeing the after pics. Hated that the little girl's face was not cleaned of blood smears. They all looked violated.

Spent the last 2-1/2 years going to the NYU Dental Clinic due to side effects of thyroid cancer radiation to the neck. 24 cavities in a year (due to decreased saliva). 4 root canals. So I feel a bit saturated in anything to do with the dentist.

Recently I went for a root canal to an endodontist, Jennifer Castro, best dentist I've been to. Ever. Tiny hands, brilliant mind, exquisitely thorough, meticulously scientific, superbly gentle and twinkly. She's phobic of getting needles herself and learned how to inject incredibly skilfully.

Learned recently that one should brush teeth as gently as if brushing the skin of a tomato, not breaking the skin.

Best toothpastes for kids.

The new flossing toothbrushes are awesome, soft and really effective.

If one sleeps with one's mouth open that can cause dry mouth, which increases cavities. Having decreased saliva increases cavities, sometimes dramatically. Chewing gum is good for the teeth.

Some years ago I discovered a great Dutch toothpaste, Parodontax. A little dab on the brush is plenty and a tube lasts a long time. It reversed my receding gums on the spot. I highly recommend it.
posted by nickyskye at 11:26 PM on June 17, 2012

My pediatric dentist was a sadist. More than most are, I mean. My baby teeth didn't fall out on schedule so he pulled them, probably eight or ten teeth in all, over the course of two or three years. Usually there was no adult tooth ready to fill the gap so I spent most of my childhood getting my cheeks pinched by adults who just thought it was adorable that I was losing my baby teeth.

The saddest part of this is that, as a child, I couldn't communicate how much these extractions hurt. I was a kid in the 1970s and the doc would shoot me up with novocaine and get to work. It wasn't until I was grown up and had to get some stitches that I learned that novocaine has no discernible effect on me. I endured something like ten tooth extractions without analgesic. My dentist (and presumably my parents) just thought I was a crybaby.

These pictures make me incredibly anxious, though I know that the kids in them were unconscious for most of the process. Bonus link: photo of a child's skull with both baby and human teeth. I cut kids a little more slack for being weird after seeing this.
posted by workerant at 7:51 AM on June 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Awww workerant, I feel horribly for what torture you endured at the hands of that malignant sadist of a dentist. ((((((workerant))))))). What a monster he was! You know, over the decades I've heard of many stories of sadistic dentists, a number of them who targeted children. That Little Shop of Horrors song about the sociopath dentist is right on the mark for certain dentists.

There are a number of reasons that people may not experience the effects of anesthesia, have resistance to novocaine. One can be that a person is a fast metabolizer. Another is that a person has red hair, with a genetic resistance to anesthesia.

I was phobic of dentists for many years. There was my own monster dentist, Dr. Schwenger, who lived in Granny's building on East 72nd Street here in NYC. He had a caricature of himself as a monster right near the dentist's chair.

Children's body's are extra sensitive, their nerves are really alive, awake. They need to be educated about doctors and dentists in a compassionate way, intelligently, with kindness and empathy, so that over their lifetime they feel inclined to go for check-ups, to get the care they need, not live in fear of seeing a doctor, not be traumatized by the supposed healer.
posted by nickyskye at 9:31 AM on June 19, 2012

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