Dr. Beatrice Leung Dentistry Professional Corporation

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My Son Needed A Root Canal

As a prosthodontist, two areas that I do not get a lot of exposure are endodontics and paediatric dentistry.  Other than doing deep restorations and post and core, I do not get very close to the canal systems of the patients’ dentition. I refer every single endodontic treatment to my fellow endodontists…including single anterior teeth.  Also, other than treating congenitally missing teeth, I do not see many kids.  Most of my patients are adults and they require a different set of dental and management skills.

So last year when my own son who was twelve had an abscessed tooth, I felt so helpless.  The abscessed tooth resulted from a Leong’s premolar (no pun intended) whose tubercle was wedged between the roots of the primary molar.  It fractured while I was removing this primary molar myself.  Before the tooth being abscessed, the premolar had every symptom you can imagine.  Extreme sensitivity was what followed the extraction and after his paediatric dentist Dr. Zee evaluated the tooth and placed some preventive resin on the tooth it still had some occasional sensitivity.  I bought him a tube of fluoride gel and told him to apply to the area whenever he feels sensitive. It calmed down after awhile.

But a year later, one day when I came home, I saw my boy with his teary eyes and his half swollen face.   I knew his tooth was infected and this time he needed more treatment.  He told me he was in pain a few days ago but didn’t want to tell me and just put more fluoride gel over it and hoped it would go away.  Well, it didn’t and it got worse….He was in pain and I needed help desperately.  That night, I was heart broken to see him in pain, waking up and crying.

In the meantime, I reached out to Dr. Zee and asked who she works with for kids requiring endodontic treatment.  She gave me two names: Dr. Andrew Moncarz and Dr. Manor Haas.  Both of them are very reputable endodontists in the community.  I couldn’t wait until the morning and tried to call and leave messages at their offices and their social media accounts hoping they would get back to me. I was desperate for help.

Well, both of them got back to me either at the middle of the night or at the crack of dawn trying to understand the situation and helped me the best possible way.  Both of them were unbelievably kind and helpful to what I needed to do.  What also complicated the situation was I knew my son would be very nervous and also needed some form of sedation for behavioral management.  In the end, my son went to Dr. Moncarz’s office.  He worked around his schedule so I can bring my son to see him that same day.  I had to cancel my day at work and bring him myself knowing how nervous he would be.  Dr. Moncarz was so professional in every way possible.  From diagnosis, to discussion of treatment options to finally executing the treatment,  he managed everything so well.  My boy was not easy…asked a lot of questions and wanted me to be in the room.  As a dental professional myself, I was wearing the hat of a patient’s mom and seeing everything from both angles.  While I personally can relate the stress of managing a patient’s anxiety and performing dental treatment efficiently, I really didn’t want to be in the room as I understand my presence may add another level of unintended stress to Dr. Moncarz.  But my son wanted me to be there and he allowed me to be in the room.

After this experience, I saw and understood dentistry from a completely different angle.  As a prosthodontist, I deal with aesthetics and function which is never a life threatening emergency.  Patients have time to decide and to receive treatment.  In fact, the patients have to want it bad enough before I can deliver my magic.

In

dental school, I never found endodontics interesting because it seemed so technical and boring to me.  I had heard before how impactful it is to be able to relieve pain.  Well I grew up in a post fluoride generation and never had a cavity beyond a buccal pit restoration…so I never had the experience of a toothache.

Seeing my son gone through a toothache and an abscess, it really opened up my eyes the role of dentists, endodontists and even oral surgeons in relieving dental pain and infections.  The technology we have available to do that is unbelievable and I’m really proud of what dentists can do to help their patients.  I am also so proud to see how my dental colleagues support one another in helping my son receive the best possible treatment.

Lastly, I really want to acknowledge Dr. Zee Wang from  https://kidsdentalgroup.ca for always being so accessible for me.  She looked

after my boys and always answered my questions.  Dr. Manor Haas https://www.drhaas.ca has been so kind and helpful. Even though, he didn’t end up treating my son.  I was so touched by his kindness and willingness to help in everyway possible.  Lastly, I am grateful that Dr. Andrew Moncarz (https://www.endoasleep.ca) accommodated my son that very day.  I knew he had a busy day and was not available to see my son initially.  But somehow, he made himself available to see my son and handled him very well.  In spite of having oral sedation, it takes effort to handle a very nervous 12 year old kid and I am grateful he did what he did so my son calmed down and had the procedure uneventfully.  My son has been pain free for a year and will be due for another follow up.  I’m grateful for everyone who was part of this process.  Thank you for this community of great dental specialists for delivering amazing dental care.  I’m so proud of all of your success.