Monday, 23 March 2009

A bit of calm, then a bit of storm...

It sometimes feels as if Colby Woodland Garden is our second home. It is only a 20 minute drive due south from the Preselis, and only the vaguest hint of sunshine compels us there. So we found ourselves there on Saturday with the lovely woodland paths to ourselves. We no longer need a map to navigate the maze of hilly paths and H and R just love to race ahead up little steps and around corners watching out for squirrels and hobbits.

But Saturday was the calm before the storm. R5 had been complaining of a sore gum and on Sunday she woke up looking like a hamster who had stuffed a football into the pocket of its cheek. A few phone calls later found us in Tenby Cottage Hospital with a dentist instead of in Theatr Mwldan watching The Secret of Moonacre. It transpires that R5 has an abscess underneath a molar and must have the offending tooth extracted under general anaesthetic in Swansea.

Fine (actually not fine, but anyway) here enters the politics of dental treatment in Pembrokeshire. My sister is a dentist and, until recently, has been taking care of our teeth. But she is in Sheffield and now H and R are no longer babies and have commitments such as school, zooming off up the motorway spending gold-plated unleaded is becoming less appealing. So much less appealing in fact, that we haven't darkened the doorway of my sister's surgery since February 2007. Instead I have been looking for a local dentist since before Christmas and the best I have been offered is to be put on a waiting list of 12 to 18 months. Sadly R5's teeth couldn't wait.

Each time I have admitted that we haven't seen a dentist for over two years to a dentist/dental nurse/local health board person/dental surgery receptionist I feel as if I am waving a big banner which reads: I AM A BAD MOTHER. Each time I look at my little hamster-jawed five-year-old I beat myself over the head with said banner. But time has, well, passed. And we missed the fact that all was not well tooth-wise inside R5's mouth. Even my sister from her lofty position of dental knowledge suggested that the marks visible on R5's teeth were "staining caused by your water, are-you-using-the-correct-toothpaste-and-brushing-properly?"

The position today is that R5 is on antibiotics and painkillers. We cannot register with a dentist because they are all full. I have phoned and left messages with various people who have the power to admit us to dental treatment and my sister has e-mailed someone she met on a course who works in Pembrokeshire.

Now we can do is wait for a dentist to find a gap in their busy schedule to accommodate at least R5, if not the rest of us (I fear to look inside any other mouths in case further nightmares lurk within) wait for the antibiotics to work their magic and worry about impending general anaesthesia.



  1. Oh Mags, poor R! I hope the antibiotics are kicking in and she's feeling better. Finding a dentist round here is an absolute 'mare - I had to beg and plead to be seen by a PRIVATE dentist!! Soon after I moved here I had to go to the doctors for a dental emergency - what a waste of everyone's time!! So don't feel guilty, you're just up against the system. I phoned this week to see what had happened to my urgent physio session from January - no, I haven't fallen off the system it's just that the physios have only just got to December's emergency referrals!

  2. Poor poor R. I have to admit we have been here 3 years and I haven't managed to find an NHS dentist.
    Do hope she is feeling better very soon.
    The woodland looks fabulous btw.

  3. Wish that you could fly right over here and have my lovely lady dentist take care of R. Yes, she is expensive, but she does have a very sensitive touch and is quite an exceptional person.

    Feeling sympathy for any pains in that molar area.


  4. Poor R5 - lots of soft pudding and ice cream for her, I hope.
    It sounds as though your dentist situation is much like ours over here. Where have they all gone?

  5. Oh Yes, you have said how I feel Mags re-dentist situation. How damn ludicrous is it and how flipping annoying when you are made to feel like a BAD mother. We had the same with Lucy who has had weak teeth as she didn't grow properly at the right satge of teeth development during pregnancy and yet I am made to feel like the world's worst. Just like when you take a book back late to the library and they make you feel the pits even though you are more than happy to just pay the fine!!! Doesn't exactly make you feel like going again does it? Phew, rant over. Hope little one is ok now xx

  6. Ouch, poor Rosie, I do feel for her. Hope the antibiotics have kicked in by now. What a ludicrous situation - we're actually not too badly off here, there is a waiting list for the one NHS dentist who is still accepting patients, but my dentist (private - I couldn't wait!) still sees patient's children free of charge (for now) It is absolutely crazy that our children have to suffer because of this shortage. The woodland walk sounded good though.


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