Liliana has had little brown spots on her teeth since they started coming in at 5 months. Over time I have asked a couple of dentists about it. The first one told me that it´s common and something that actually happens when the teeth are forming in utero. The 2nd told me not to worry about it. Boy was that the wrong advice! When we were back in Indy, I expressed my concerns with my mom because I have noticed the spots have been growing and it seems like chunks of her eye teeth are even coming off. I wasn´t sure what to do. Brushing has always been something that has not come easily for us and I have to admit I have neglected it somewhat.
Well my mom spoke with a dentist friend of hers that was extremely concerned that we get her in to see a pediatric dentist ASAP. He said it is a common problem and knew exactly what it was and told us to google ¨Bottle Caries¨ online and we would find pictures and everything. I googled and was horrified at what I saw. I was very concerned and went ahead and scheduled an appointment with a pediatric dentist in Carmel. We were able to get in right away, but I was nervous about it because Liliana´s not too fond of strangers in general, so to have someone´s hand in her mouth wasn´t going to be fun.
We arrived at the office and it had a wonderful Alice in Wonderland theme. Liliana loved playing until we went in. The dentist had a look and cleaned her teeth. She screamed and cried hysterically the whole time. We then went back for x'rays, which was equally unenjoyable. I was able to hold her the whole time though. The x'rays showed a lot of decay. It was really bad. She said the two eye teeth could not be saved because they are crumbling and there is too much decay. The two front teeth are questionable. She said she would just have to go in and see if there is enough to save and if there is, she will do a baby root canal and hope that is sticks. But there would be a chance it could blow up if it didn´t! If they were too bad to save, she will just have to remove them as well! I started crying at this point. I felt so bad for Liliana and what she must be going through and how it will be without teeth until she is older. The dentist said that she already has a predisposition for this problem and because Liliana nurses to sleep, the milk stays in her mouth and the sugars slowly decay the teeth. This can happen to bottle fed babies as well. I asked how the procedure would be. She told me that they cannot put her to sleep because that would require a hospital visit. I was horrified at the idea of her being awake for the whole thing. They said they give her some kind of amnesia so she won´t remember, which I think is a crock, and some laughing gas. Then she said for more ¨high stress¨ babies like Liliana, which equally pissed me off that she would say, they basically put them in a straight jacket to keep them still! What am I supposed to say at this point...it sounded horrible, but I coudn´t keep her in pain. I made the appointment for the following week. The price would be about $2000 for the whole thing.
After some fights between my mom and I about what I should do, I went back and forth. Eduardo and I finally had a chance to have a long conversation about the whole thing and decided we would get the work done in El Salvador. He really wanted to be there for her through the whole ordeal. He then spoke with a dentist here in Izalco that he really liked and I felt really good about the decision. I also knew that it would be a fraction of the cost of the States, which appealed greatly to us. It was hard over the next month to know Liliana was in pain and was hoping we made the right decision. Mother´s intuition is always best!