Surviving the dentist

Jon and I just experienced one of the most disturbing incidents in our parenthood.

Mario getting a cavity filled.

Horrid and nightmarish.

This is Mario pre-filling.


Sweet, charming, calm.

Even if I could have gotten a picture of Mario during the procedure, I would not post it. People would believe that he was being tortured. He pretty much psyched himself out as soon as the dentist walked in the room. He looked like he was facing the firing squad. I just wanted to wrap him up in my arms and shoot out of the office.

The dentist began by looking into Mario’s mouth with the typical little instrument that has a mirror at the end. Mario cried and would not open his mouth more than a grimace. And it went downhill from there. We had to hold him down for the numbing gel and the shot took him over the edge. Screams of pain, giant tears that could have filled a bucket, hyperventilation.

“I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!”

We stopped. I held him. He begged to leave.

“I can’t take this anymore! I can’t do it anymore!”

More soothing from me and Jon. As soon as we got him to lay down again, he wailed and begged to tell me “one more thing.” By the time the dentist started drilling, the novocaine had worn off and when the doctor drilled, Mario writhed in pain.

We went through the process again with the same crying and soothing and hyperventilating and begging until the numbness settled in. Mario sat fairly still as the dentist finished the drilling and seal clenching my hands and asking “are we done?” every three seconds.

When we left, I felt like I had ran a marathon. Jon was even worn down. Emotional trauma. Mario would only get a picture with me and when I smiled he stopped me. “You can’t smile, mom. This was not fun.”


Grandma Lolo called as we were heading out and told him he earned his $20. She had promised him that if he acted brave through the process. Not quite sure we’d call it “brave” but he got the filling and reached the end goal… Kicking and Screaming.

Jon took him to Target to get a Wii game. He called me when they got home and reported that Mario was back to Mario again – playing Wii and laughing. Glad he’s back to normal but I am still recovering!


Serious lesson learned for all: Brush your teeth after every meal! I think Mario may listen after today.

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