The Dentist Who Made the Dream Come True

This is the second time I’ve ever cried tears of gratitude for a dentist. And I’m pretty sure it’s the first time a dentist has ever hugged me. And I know it’s the first time I ever saw a dentist make a home visit.

About six months ago I brought Mom and Dad in for their dental check-ups. It was exhausting! It was a battle getting Mom in and out of the car. It was a job to get her to sit in the waiting room and a challenge to get her to walk down the hall. And then, though everyone was very kind and patient, Mom hollered and yelled and swore. It was traumatic for all of us.

Before I left, Mom’s dentist came out to the waiting room and told me that she would make a home visit for her next check-up. I couldn’t believe it at the time. It sounded like a dream. I thanked her and teared up with relief at the time. But I wondered if the dream would ever come true.

Six months went by. I called to make Dad’s appointment and asked the receptionist.if it was still a possibility to get a home visit for Mom. Dr. B. called me back later and made the appointment with me herself.

And today she came.

Mom laid back in her own recliner. I covered her with a blanket. Dr. B. brought a bag of supplies and cheerfully started brushing and cleaning and flossing Mom’s teeth as I held Mom’s hands down and tried to comfort her.

Mama still hollered. She yelled at Dr. B. “I hate you!”

And Dr. B. answered, “That’s too bad. I like you.”

Mama yelled, “Go home!”

And Dr. B. calmly said, “I will pretty soon.”

Dr. B. kindly and patiently cleaned Mama’s teeth the best she could. When she finished she said, “I think this was much better than at the office. I could clean her teeth better. I’ll do this every time.”

This is where I started choking up. Dr. B. said, “My grandma and grandpa both had dementia and they just didn’t get dental care. But why shouldn’t people with dementia get their teeth checked? They should.”

And then she saw my shiny, misty eyes and said, “Oh-hh!” and came and gave me a hug.

And I am feeling so blessed that Mom has Dr. B. for a dentist. And I’m wondering if it’s appropriate to bring cookies or cake to a dental office. And I’m so grateful for a dentist that makes me cry and gives me hugs.

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The Sweet Shocking Dentist Appointment

I dreaded bringing Mom to the dentist yesterday, and ended up shocked with such an amazing surprise!

But first we had to go through the battles.

Battles of getting Mom dressed and getting her out to the car and into the car. This has become ever more challenging. Mom was leery of going down the few steps to get outside. My daughter Annie and I were both holding onto her.

Mom seemed like she wanted to get into the car, but didn’t remember how to. I finally manually put each of her hands in the right places and picked up one foot and put it in the car for her. Then Annie helped from inside the car and I helped from outside and we were able to get her in.

When we arrived at the dentist’s office we put a gait belt on Mom before we got her out of the car, and were grateful we did. The walk inside was short, but felt painfully long with her shuffling, sometimes unstable steps.

When she was called in for her exam we had another challenging walk and then we had to figure out to help her sit on the dental chair. Mom wanted to climb up on it on her knees and once she was on it, it was a project to keep her there. She wanted to go home. She wanted her Mama. She kept swinging her feet back to the floor and attempting to stand up and leave.

The dental hygienist was brushing Mom’s teeth with a regular toothbrush when the dentist came in. Mom wasn’t too happy about any of this and shouted and swore some. Dr. B. talked to Mama and then boldly put her gloved finger in Mom’s mouth to feel her gums and examine her.

That was very brave of Dr. B. And risky. Mom clamped down on her finger and Dr. B. said, “Ouch!” and yanked her finger out. (Oh dear.) After that Dr. B. put a rubber guard in Mom’s mouth, so when she bit down it was into the guard and not her finger.

The exam was short and Annie and I struggled to get Mom back in the car and took her home. Another stressful ordeal. And then again to get her out of the car and into the house. We were all exhausted after all this. Annie stayed with Mom and I went back for Dad.

I am sitting in the waiting room, trying to release the stress of it all while Dad is in his appointment, when Dr. B. comes out and finds me. She said something like, “It looks like it’s really tough to get your Mom in here. Next time I’ll just plan to drop in at her house and examine her there. I think she would be calmer then and it would be easier for everyone.”

“You make house calls?” I say in amazement.

“Not usually, but there are exceptions.”

“You would do that?” She pats my hand and smiles and nods.

I’m tearing up. “That is SO kind of you! That is SO generous of you!”

Then she tells me we can figure out the date for Mom’s next check-up, and that she would come over on her day off or whenever to see Mom and examine her.

And I am blown away by this generous offer. What a heart! She’s only been Mom’s dentist for a year or so now, after the previous dentist moved, and she’s offering to make a home appointment!

What a surprise! What a blessing! What a gift! There are some beautiful, compassionate people in this world, and Dr. B. is one of them! Thank You, Jesus!