February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and we are excited for Julie Sasse, one of the Birmingham Mom Collective founders, to talk about why she chose Dr. Jeff Flannery and the team at Oak Mountain Pediatric Dentistry for her family.
Anybody else get behind on dentist appointments during the pandemic? For us, it seemed like a risk to go to the dentist if it wasn’t absolutely necessary during all. the. craziness. We only missed one 6-month appointment, but that skipped appointment really backfired!
My daughter ended up getting a bad cavity. Like really bad. Like waking up in the night in pain, having to take Ibuprofen, with a black hole in the side of her very back molar. It was without a doubt time to go to the dentist. And I don’t know about you, but when it comes to putting my precious four year old to sleep to do medical work, I want her in the best hands! Hands that I trust completely. That was Dr. Jeff Flannery and the team at Oak Mountain Pediatric Dentistry.
Same Day Appointments
I called Oak Mountain Pediatric Dentistry early one Monday morning to see when we could make an appointment for my little sugar monster. It turned out they had two appointments later that same afternoon so I could take both of my kiddos–score! Getting two done at once is much easier on mom, and little sister could watch big brother get his teeth done first to help put her mind at ease.
First, the Oak Mountain Pediatric Dentistry COVID protocols are great. We called the office when we got to the parking lot, and waited in our car until they came to get us for the appointment. When we came through the door, we all wore masks, got temperature checked, and got some hand sanitizer.
Kind and Knowledgeable Hygienists
Next, my daughter and I walked right to the cleaning chair with her hygienist while my son had x-rays done with his hygienist. A huge plus for us was we knew who our hygienist was, because she was our friend’s grandmother! It was a blessing to have a sweet, friendly face we knew to help my daughter when she was a ball of emotions. Dr. Jeff even came over before his official visit to say hi to both my kids and encourage my teary-eyed little girl.
Our hygienist was so patient and kind with my daughter. She let her sit in my lap for her cleaning (because she was latched on to me and not letting go for anything!), she let her touch the cleaning brush, she told her the flavors of toothpaste and let her choose, and she kept encouraging her through the big tears.
Then we headed over to x-rays which made my little one really nervous. To a kid, it must look pretty scary and feel kind of weird to have that thing in your mouth and be still while they take an x-ray photo! But with my son holding her hand cheering her on and me holding her in my lap, she eventually let the hygienist get the photos and we could see how bad the cavity really was (turns out there was more than 1 cavity!). OMPD even had a vest for me to wear while I was holding my daughter for her x-rays. They think of everything!
In-Between Option for Treating Cavities
Next, Dr. Jeff came over to look at the x-rays and check on the kids teeth. Gold star for no cavities for my 6 year old son! They then discovered that my daughter had two cavities, with one being pretty deep. We talked about the options, and at OMPD, they offer a service for kids with cavities that need more than just the laughing gas but not a full visit to Children’s of Alabama with putting them to sleep and intubating. (Did you know that is normal protocol for this type of dental work?) The “in-between” option is called PDAA (Pediatric Dental Anesthesia Associates), where they put them to sleep in the office, with a pediatric anesthesiologist, but it is more like a twilight sleep. OMPD is one of only four dentists in town that offers PDAA.
We felt like this was such a great option for our girl. She can even bring her sweet stuffed animal that she sleeps with each night to her appointment. With COVID protocols, we were unable to bring her lovey to her tubes surgery at Children’s last summer.
By this time in the appointment when I was talking to Dr. Jeff about options, my daughter had finally relaxed and wasn’t attached to my lap. She was running around the chair with her brother! She got a Princess Aurora sticker and new tooth brush, an OMPD t-shirt (all new patients receive one!), and she was enjoying looking at all of the camping decor on the walls.
If you are looking for a new dentist, or if your little one is having some tooth pain and you want to feel that they are safe and well taken care of, I cannot recommend OMPD enough! They were an answer to our prayers!