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Successful Dental Visit with Autism - It Stings



Understand? I know you do. This is success. My daughter sat quietly. Opened her mouth. The dentist has all ten fingers. So does the hygienist, although I wanted to bite her head off as she kept asking my daughter questions it was CLEAR she could not answer. "Ah, Miss B has autism," I whispered, "She can't answer you."  Chatter chatter chatter. She meant well. Still.

It stings.

And so does my arm.

It stings.

B used my arm to steel herself for the light, the sound, the feelings. I couldn't block of course - my job was to help her stay safe and still.  Kermit the Frog is trying to help. We still have him around - the 30th anniversary edition from back in 1999.

It stings.

We scheduled an operating room next month for a filling. Operating room. 

It stings.

My blood was on her shorts. The chatty hygienist was silent.

It stings.

Kim ♥



Grace Green

Thanks for that Angus, very interesting. I know that since the use of fluoride toothpaste many dentists have been conservative in their approach to fillings. But this regrowing of enamel is new. Pity it's too late for most of my advanced cavities! It's not the drilling that bothers me so much as the toxicity of what they stuff back in the hole. My holistic dentist is up to date on all the latest research, which is what one would expect of a professional, so I trust his opinion on materials.
It has to be emphasized that all of the many other dentists that I've tried, and even the dental hospital, have behaved unprofessionally, unethically, and even criminally, and that this has without doubt been organized from above. The cover-up of mercury poisoning has to be maintained. I will not even name the dentist who treated me, for fear that he would be Wakefielded, or worse, get what we're getting.

Angus Files

Grace I dont know dentist works along the same lines as this treatment although he doesn't make a point of advertising it either.Available to people who he knows well and are pretty open minded with alternative medicine.I`ve been doing similar to this for about 2 years and I have holes(small) but no pain and the holes seem to be filling quite remarkable compared to what your average quack dentist will lead you to believe-get the mercury in there!!good for ya!

I see this company in Perth

Pharma For Prison


Grace Green

Aimee, that explains it, and I can understand this pain thing in autistic people. Sometimes I find I can't understand why I'm feeling like not getting up, and it takes a long time to identify the source of the problem (usually the gut). Sorry if I seemed to go off the deep end, not intended for you, but I get weird comments and questions from medics and dentists all the time. I even had someone present during my extractions, supposedly a dental student, but he didn't look like one to me. Probably MI5 ! (Perhaps you can see why I might seem paranoid!)

Grace Green

Angus, thanks for that. I had heard about that on the bbc news, but didn't know it was being offered to the public yet. Can you get this in Perth, or do you have to go to London for it?

Aimee Doyle

@Grace -

Sorry - I reread what I wrote - and I can see how it was misinterpreted. What I meant was that he felt no pain from the infection (the dentist said he should have). The extraction of the tooth was performed under anesthesia. I simply wanted to be clear (obviously I wasn't) that his pain experience throughout his body is inconsistent - sometimes he is hypersensitive and sometimes he doesn't experience anything where a neurotypical person would. He really didn't feel pain from his broken arm at age 4.

I'm not sure about dental protocol. I have read that in China, some dental procedures (not sure which ones) are performed using acupuncture rather than anesthetic. And I do have a friend who's a Christian scientist who told me he never uses anesthesia for routine dental procedures, or matters like root planing. Not sure if he feels less pain, or simply guts it out with the help of prayer. I don't know if he would take drugs for an extraction.

I certainly didn't to ignore your experience, insult you, offend you, hurt you, or anything like that. Your dentist should listen to you. We were lucky to find one who listens to us.

Angus Files

Grace along these lines...

Pharma For Prison


Ronda S

I can relate to the experience of fillings taking place in an operating room. About 4 years ago my son went through the same thing. It was a major ordeal. He is fortunate to have received very good care at our local Children's Hospital. They have been so good with him. A few months back, another cavity was found. This time, we were told they could use a strong sedative and he would not remember anything. Things went very smoothe. We showed up at the dental clinic, my son was sedated, had the filling done and the procedure took about 30 minutes. I wanted to share this just in case this would be an option.

Grace Green

Aimee, your reply to me is unbelievable. You say your son had a tooth extraction and reported feeling no pain. Nowhere in the western world would an extraction be performed with no anesthetic. I asked and was refused even at a private clinic. In the end, I was given hypnosis, acupuncture, and finally a very small amount of a hypoallergenic local. I still felt what was happening but it was tolerable. If your son was given an anesthetic then of course he didn't feel pain. You, like so many dentists and doctors, have ignored what I said, and instead focused on pain as they do. I thought I was the only person with the attitude I have to pain, until my holistic dentist said it is a warning sign, and if you see it that way it's possible to dissociate yourself from it. That's what I had always done. What I wrote about in my comment was the difficulty swallowing which is a result of the muscle paralysis which comes with ME, MS, Alzheimers, and probably eventually autism. A person needs to be able to breath, and being drowned is more concerning than a temporary pain in a tooth.

Angus, where did you find a dentist who doesn't fill holes?! I had to travel all the way to your neck of the woods to get my holistic treatment (described above) but they don't ignore cavities.

Can anyone answer this? After 15 years of being refused dental treatment, or being assaulted, abused, intimidated and overcharged, I have finally completed the treatment I needed. The dental hospital even returned mercury to my mouth without my knowledge or consent. For some reason "They" are still not happy and keep harassing me for more information. Then along comes this article and all these weird comments! Sorry, but I have nothing to hide, and I'm not going to stop saying what I've been saying all along. Being poisoned by the medical and dental professions is nothing for me to feel guilty about. I thought we were all on the same side here.

Loraine Fishel

Please please please do not allow amalgam fillings in anyone!!!!!This brought me oddly enough into the world of autism. I am 58 now. I am so lucky to have gotten advice and help from Bradstreet at age 43 or so as I started to really crumple. I was trying to help my poor son and falling terribly myself. I kept working 40 hours at my nursing job plus what ever I could put in close to 40 hours ABA.
I was somehow working out the mercury autism connection and read about Haley Boyd's work through the internet. I suddenly realized that I have a very verbal version of my son's disorder. Really this is comparing apples to oranges. Later my urine porphyrin test confirmed what I suspected. Someone said to me today: Be very careful because even beautiful white crystals that look like sugar can turn out to be salt. Some day I hope to ask God the meaning of all this. I am a very guilty survivor. Why save Me and not others?

Donna L.

Ah, yes...the dreaded arm gouges. All too familiar with those. They hurt like hell, don't they?

I hope all goes well with Bella's upcoming operating room experience.
If it's any consolation, my son -- who is so very much like Bella (and Mia) -- just survived an 11 day hospitalization and abdominal surgery. If we can do it, I know you can, too.

Thank you, Kim, for never backing down on showing the world what really goes on in our kids' lives. It means the world to those of us who are so up to our eyeballs in terror and tragedy that we can't even fight back anymore.

Aimee Doyle

@Kim - so sorry for your traumatic dental visit. The blood on your arm, on Bella's shorts...I hope the next visit is better. All the pain we take into ourselves as parents...

@Grace - our dentist and hygienist have been great about providing a relaxing experience - and he always has one of the private rooms. But they can't do anything about his autistic sensitivities... which are all over the map. Some parts of his mouth - and some of his teeth - are hypersensitive. On the other hand, he was in recently for a dental cleaning and the dentist noticed that he had a massive infection which required emergency dental surgery to extract the tooth and clean out the abscess. My son told us that he didn't feel any pain. If we hadn't had that regular visit, the infection could have gotten much worse.

He's always had issues with not feeling certain kinds of pain - when he was four he broke his arm falling from a slide - and apparently didn't feel it. He picked up his bookbag with the broken arm.

I sometimes worry about what would happen if he were seriously ill - like my friend's autistic son, whose appendix burst and he didn't even mention it for a couple of days. Then he said his tummy hurt. Lucky he was semi-verbal. Lucky he lived.

Angus Files

Sorry to see that Kim must be worse for your daughter as you say.Were fortunate dentistry is one of the only walks of life he has done normally.Unlike me,I am scared of dentists due to a school butcher of a dentist I had to go to as a very small child ex Royal Navy ship doctor.Were fortunate enough to have had very patient understanding dentists from the get go.On the back of this hes never had a bad experience and never had to have a filling ever.So, so far as we can make out he likes going to the dentist.He had to get two baby wisdom teeth out to allow the adult teeth through ,and after assessment by the dentist,it was recommended that he be knocked out for that,which he was.He came out of it none the wiser,or worse for wear, and no bad experience. Hes into very much- into everything SPACE and I think the outfits they wear possibly he thinks hes in a SPACE environment where I would like to be most of the time these days especially on dentist day.Come to think of it Deep Space 9 don`t have any dentists and I`ve never seen a scene to do with dentistry I`m sure, or I would have remembered it and grimaced right through the whole procedure clenching my fists,in anxiety.I go to a holistic dentist now only when I have to, and to my great joy he doesn`t fill holes in teeth hooorrraahh!

Pharma For Prison


Grace Green

For those who've commented on this, here's my experience as an autistic person. I have repeatedly told dentists that I am autistic, or have M.E. which is the same thing, and that for example this causes difficulty swallowing so I can't manage all that water pouring down my throat. It makes not a blind bit of difference - they completely ignore me. I have always been very compliant, and I find it difficult to speak up about my needs, so lately I've been more insistent, but the word autism just isn't on their radar. It's surely well known by now that people with our condition have real physical symptoms, and you would have thought it's part of the job of a surgeon, dental or medical, to take account of those facts. I've even been told at the dental hospital that I would have to go private just because I'm allergic to the only LA they have on offer. They have repeatedly tried to persuade me to have the stuff I'm allergic to! I think sympathetic dentists, and doctors, are few and far between.

Barry Stern

Kim, we fully empathize having gone through similar challenges with our 18 yr old daughter with autism. Although she is covered by Medicaid, we haven't found a dentist in our region who knows anything about autism and accepts Medicaid rates of reimbursement. Her out-of-network dentist is excellent (and fun) but expensive. She's only had 3 cleanings in her entire life, but in the last 3-4 years doesn't seem to understand that she needs to remain still and cooperative while in the dentist's chair. Sedation with a dentist and anesthesiologist present in a hospital setting is an option, but we are nervous that the wrong anesthesia could cost her many years of language development. Meantime, my wife must still brush the teeth of our reluctant teenager; it's a battle every morning. Happy to hear suggestions from readers.


I hope this takes out some of the sting, it really is the truth. As the expression, “Life is not about making it through the storms, it’s about learning to dance in the rain,” becomes ever more trite (now you see it everywhere) I never ceased to be awed by the lady who dances through a psunami. You are the person I aspire to be! I wish for nothing but peace and comfort for you and you’r beautiful girls!
Thank you so much for all you do!


Kim, so sorry you had to go through such trauma at the dentist. Many people are fearful of the dentist so you can just imagine how fearful it is for our kids to go and sit in that chair. It took several years before my son was able to handle having his teeth cleaned as he finally got used to it and lost his fear of it because he knew what to expect from the cleaning. Again, people have no idea how difficult life is raising a child with autism.

cia parker

I don't think you should hold the hygienist's chatting against her. Filling a social silence with the appearance of normality I think is kind. My daughter likes people chatting next to her, making her feel normal and accepted. I was thinking yesterday that when I drive with her, neither of us usually says anything. She'll tell me where to turn, or remind me to flick the turn signal if I don't. At dinner neither says anything. I'm just too tired to try to chat when she can't respond with more than yes or no. She's going to spend two days with an old teacher this weekend, who used to teach a 3-5 grade self-contained autism class, and is adept at chatting very cheerfully and affectionately despite its being one-way. My daughter loves it and her.

My daughter has bitten hygienists several times (not in several years, she's gotten much better). A hygienist at the orthodontist's office several years ago was really angry about it. I said I was sorry, but really couldn't say it with much real sympathy. It's just the way it goes. There was nothing I could do about it.


So sorry for what you and your girls have to go through to do what others take for granted. Thank you for letting the world know that autism is not a gift. :(

Jan R

It was bit ironic that I read your post just moments after writing this note to my son Andrew's dentist who is retiring.
"Dear Dr Almeida,
I want you to know what a gift you gave to Andrew. When Andrew first started coming to you I brought in a 15 year old kid for whom dentist visits were extremely challenging even after going to two different special needs dentists.
You and Barbara* did what they couldn’t. You helped him get comfortable with cleanings and fillings. You were so patient, and so kind and so respectful of him. Your treatment of him has enabled him to actually enjoy going to the dentist. I never could have imagined then, that years later I could sit in the waiting room while he went in by himself. The only reason I went in when he had fillings was because I enjoyed talking with you so much.
Bob and I deeply appreciate all you and Barbara did to help Andrew. So thank you so much!
(*Barbara is the hygienist and also his wife).
Kim, I'm sorry that you and poor B had to go through this.
I guess I wanted to share this to let others know that there is hope for their kiddos. Going to a practice that is small, quiet and flexible was the key for Andrew.

Grace Green

Kim, so sorry for yours and your daughter's traumatic visit to the dentist. What a pity that dentists and other practitioners can't arrange more relaxing venues for seeing autistic people. My mother had dental phobia, and was sedated before leaving home, then given general anaesthetic at the dentist in order to have all her teeth removed. That was sixty years ago. I suppose such treatment would be very expensive now, but isn't that the least they could do for people with special needs (caused by Them)?

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