I was doing an extensive filling on my patient when suddenly my colleague, Zue, came to me, pale-faced. "Z, tolong aku boleh tak? Aku nak buat block pada patient ni tapi aku macam...", she mumbled and I just couldn't say no. I left my patient awhile and went to her dental chair. Her patient was a five-year old boy, super adorable especially with his frightened gasps. According to Zue, he's super scared of dentists. I couldn't comprehend the reason completely because he had all his deciduous teeth in place and no restoration at all. Most probably he heard bad stories about dental visits. Haih... I feel like choking every single screwed up person who spreads such stories, but ah well, we're at fault anyway. If only all of us gave more attention on providing dental treatments with as less pain as possible.
"Siapa budak comel ni? Apa nama adik?", I asked the boy.
He frowned back, tearful.
"Okay, sayang, nama akak Kak Z. Kakak nak tengok sikit gigi comel adik boleh?"
He didn't answer and looked away, still tearful.
"Sayang, Kak Z nak sedut air liur adik. Banyaknyaaa air liur awak ni", I told him and gently put the suction tip on his forearm. He gasped and looked at it. Slowly, he held the suction tip. "Okay, sekarang, adik Mikad letak dalam mulut penyedut ni boleh? Kak Z tak nampaklah dalam mulut awak bila air liur awak banyak. Oooh, ulat banyak niii, Kak Z risau Kak Z tak boleh sedut ulat keluar kalau awak banyak air liur". Zue tried to guide him at inserting the suction tip, but I told her to just let him do it himself until he was assured enough.
To make sure his topical anaesthesia would work fine, I made it a point to dry his mucosa properly. "Kak Z nak tiup sikit gusi awak boleh. Ulat dalam mulut lari kalau kena angin". I blew the triplex syringe on his forearm. He hesitated but allowed me to do it onto his gum when I said, "Ooooh, sejuk kan angin ni? Haa, manade sakit. Kak Z kata dah. Kak Z pun rasa sejuk dengan angin ni". I attempted to apply topical anaesthesia on his gum, but he refused. "Hm... Mikad, Kak Z takde buat Mikad sakit kan? Okay sekarang Kak Z nak letak gula-gula jeli strawberry ni kat gusi Mikad. Takde benda pun". Again, I applied it onto his forearm. "Boleh, sayang?". He slowly nodded. "Pandai sayang Kak Z sorang ni", I complimented him.
I rubbed and patted his shoulder while stealthily take the syringe that was loaded with mepivacaine. "Mikad, sekarang Kak Z nak tidurkan gigi. Tak sakit pun. Semut gigit lagi sakit", and I asked his parents and Zue to hold him still. Then I administered the local anaesthesia. He screamed, but I was sure it wasn't because of the pain because the scream came before I even pricked his gum. "Okay, okay, Mikad, Kak Z dah cucuk dah pun tak sakit kan?", then he continued to cry. He was acting up, obviously. And then I faked a gasp, "AHHH! Ulat keluar, Mikad duduk diam, ulat banyaknya keluar aaaaaa", I screamed, just to play along with his games and he sat still. Then, I loaded the rest of the content without him resisting.
"Gusi gatalllll", which means my local anaesthesia was working. He was anxious to experience the anaesthetic effect. "Shhhhh, Miikad, jangan tekan-tekan gusi. Kak Z nampak gigi tengah nak tidur tu. Mikad suka tak kalau Mikad tidur orang bising-bising lepas tu tolak-tolak Mikad?". He shook his head. "Haa, dah tu, Miikad jangan la kejutkan gigi. Kalau gigi Miikad terbangun dari tidur nanti aaa Miikad rasa tak sedap". And he sat silent and started to calm down. That's when I was completely sure that he didn't actually feel pain. He was stressed and anxious. That's all. I stroke his small cheek and then resumed treating my own patient.
Later, Zue came to me, "Thanks, Z, thanks sangat-sangat. Tadi bila aku tanya dia nak datang dental treatment lagi tak dia kata nak. I learned a lot today". I just want to cure this anxiety towards dental treatments especially among kids. Glad I helped this evening although my own session this morning was screwed up. LOL.