One of the keys to being a good cruising parent is to know when a scream or cry is genuine. The other day when we heard a loud thud, followed by a scream and crying, we instantly new it was bad. In the moments it took all the kids to come from the front of the boat to the salon we could make out some of the conversation and words. “My teeth, oh my god, my teeth”, was being repeated over and over by Daphnie. Within moments she arrived in the cockpit and stood in the salon door where she opened her mouth. Sure enough her front 2 teeth were broken and there was a mixture of teeth parts and gelcoat on her tongue. Pandemonium ensued as everyone began yelling at once. Rhonda quickly got a hold of the situation and determined that the only damage appeared to be to the front teeth. Hugs were administered, boys were sent to bed, and the boat was calmed down.
In the days following the “accident” we kept a close eye on Daph and discussed our options. There are good dentists down here in the islands, but we were not familiar with any in Martinique. Not to mention that our French is really poor and we were going to have a lot of trouble communicating with anyone. We knew there was a great dentist in Grenada as we had some great work done down there. However, we were worried about one tooth as it had been broken off almost in 1/2 and the “pulp” appeared to be showing. Even though she kept saying that it didn’t hurt and it wasn’t bothering her, we felt we should get someone to see her. So Rhonda got on the internet and found a Dentist that was recommended and spoke fluent English. Unfortunately, upon showing up at the office we were told its “impossible” as they were all booked up. We could have an appointment in a month. However, they did quickly look at her teeth and said if she wasn’t in pain it was probably OK. We still were not excited about entering the more remote parts of the Caribbean without her seeing someone though. Now, in a fortuitist, but unfortunate happenstance our friend Niels on the boat Saga lost a filling, literally the day we were turned away from the dentist. He asked our experience, but was undeterred when we told him that it looked like a month for booking. The next day he went out and found a dentist that not only fixed his tooth, but spoke English and said he would look at Daph. We excitedly headed to his office and booked an appointment was booked for the next day.
The before picture!
The dentist wanted X-rays so he could look at how developed her roots are. He explained to us that as young kids grow the root canal will close. Depending on what stage her teeth were at may change his recommendations.
X-Rays are done and the reconstruction is begun. He decided to rebuild the one really bad tooth and then do another consultation in a few days. He didn’t like that the pulp was showing, but said she really didn’t have much pain so just covering it might be enough. He would have a better idea when she came back. He was reluctant to do a root canal as she was so young and thought it better to try this first. Of course she was allowed to keep her stuffie (Sophie) during the whole procedure!
There were lots of tools that were used.
I wasn’t nervous, I was just admiring the pretty purple color.
More “stuff” being used. Daph was a very good patient.
Starting to look normal again.
The final rinse!
The grand reveal! Seriously, you can’t even tell that anything happened. The dentist talked with us and said that it might need to be redone as she grows up. Its common for teeth to change color and she may just need it done for “aesthetics”. He also warned it was possible for the reconstruction to break off as it has very little to bind to on incisor teeth, but he was confident in the work (he acid etched to make sure it bonded well).
Now the question I know many of you are wondering. What did that whole procedure cost! Drum roll… $125 Euro..
Ya, let that sink in. X-rays, freezing, rebuild all done in an office that rivals any dental office I have been too in Canada for $125 Euro (about $190cdn). Hell, even with insurance in Canada I’m willing to bet we would have paid more for just overages.