18 answers

Dental Work for My 2 Year Old

Hi Everyone-

I have a 2 year old with cavities on her front teeth. She comfort nurses. I have taken her to the dentist and they want to do IV Sedation. I would like to know if anyone has had the same experience as myself. What are the pros and cons if I wait etc. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I have an appt in a few weeks with a pediatric dentist who doesn't do IV Sedation. Hopefully they can give us another plan of treatment. I will post after the visit. Thank you to everyone who responded.

Featured Answers

My eldest daughter had cavities on her 2 front teeth at age 2 as well. She drank the "sleeping juice" rather than the sedation IV and I DON'T recommend it. She struggled so hard not to go to sleep that I almost couldn't contain her and she was really out of it the whole rest of the day afterwards. I would have chosen to do the IV if I had known.

I definitely would not wait. Cavities are best filled before they become painful infections or gum disease. My husband is such a chicken with dentists, so I've seen first hand the pain and suffering neglect of cavities can do. It could even effect the forming adult teeth underneath.

One last thing, they tried to convince me to have her teeth capped with silver and I refused. They filled them with porcelain instead, and I didn't regret it one bit. I couldn't stand the thought of her going around with silver caps until they finally fell out around 5 or 6, no thank you. They tried to tell me the porcelain wouldn't last, but they did just fine.

For me it was a big lesson on keeping her teeth brushed even at her young age and I started brushing my younger daughter's teeth as soon as she got them and she didn't have a single cavity until just last year.

Hi N.,

My son has had multiple fillings, and all were done without full sedation, although nitrous oxide was used. He was 2 when he had his first dental work done. I recommend getting a second opinion from a dentist that does not do full sedation. We go to Orinda Pediatric Dentistry, and I believe that they also have a office in Berkeley.

Good luck!

More Answers

i don't really have advice, other than to not let it stop you from nursing. i hope everything goes well and that you are able to find a solution to best fit your family :) good luck!

I would get a second opinion. The first children's dentist I took my 4-yr old to (because he was afraid of getting a filling at our regular dentist) wanted to sedate him to even do xrays. My son had had xrays already and had no problem. It was the needle and drill he was afraid of. So we went to this pediatric dentist who immediately suggested sedating him for xrays, and wanted him to have root canals and crowns. I thought that was absurd, so I took him to Children's Choice dental for a second opinion. I told them he would need to be sedated for the fillings, but that I didn't feel it was necessary to sedate him for xrays. The dentist thought it was crazy to suggest sedating a child for xrays. He also said there are many alternatives to try BEFORE thinking about IV sedation. Also, he said my son only needed filligs, not root canals or crowns. My son was very anxious, so they decided he needed Nitrous. This is much less invasive, and worked great for my son. My point is that you may want to check out your other options before putting your child under general anesthesia. I would get a second opinion. Good luck.

Hi N., I have never had to experience that, but I would check with another dentist. Do you go to a children's dentist? My kids are now 25 and 21. The started seeing Dr. Wolkstein when they were 2. My daughter has since graduated to an adult dentist, my son still has a few years left.
Dr. Wolkstein is located in San Jose, on Blossom Hill Rd. ###-###-#### is the number. Good Luck

Hi N.,

I love in Australia now and I think the dentists think a little differently here.

Firstly, my daughter is 3years old now and still can't go to sleep without feeding and also wants it during the night. I was worried when I found a cavity that this was the cause and felt terrible that I could have done such a thing to my child. When I raised this with her pediatric dentist he said it made no difference whether she was feeding or not and the cavities were due to the fact that the enamel on her teeth had not formed properly in the womb and prior to her teeth coming through. That was a relief for me.

Secondly, here they will only do work on a child's teeth under general anasthetic and so my choice was no work and risk future problems, the back teeth having to come out prematurely and then the spacing of her adult teeth to me affected and thus possible future major work; or go under general in a hospital. I chose the general....

In the xrays my dentist found additional holes and weaknesses in the enamel of all her teeth so he filled what needed filling and put a protective coating on all other teeth so she should not have to have anything like this again with her baby teeth.

The experience is a little scary, but when you are prepared for this it is OK.

She was holding my hand when she went to sleep and then I left while she had the IV inserted. when she first started coming round she started screaming for me and they finally called me back in. It was scary to see her so disoriented and out of it, but I took her in my arms and breastfed her. She settled quicly in my arms and went back to sleep after a feed.

When she woke up she was in my arms and not at all afraid. She has always been very articulte and the next day when we talked about her experience she told me that she woke up in my arms (she doesn't remember the whole screaming episode and having a breastfeed). So the fact that she is still breastfed was a really good thing - in the end.

This all happened when she was 2 1/2 and now when you ask her if she likes her dentist she says - yes and wants me to take her back to the same dentist for a check-up (normally she will not let doctors, nurses etc touch her) and if you ask her what she wants to do when she grows up (this question is asked seperately to the previous one) she will say - a dentist.

Having had the work done while under general anasthic means she is not afraid of dentists which is a good thing for kids.

I would not wait and would get the fillings done and the rest of the teeth coated so you don't have to do it continuously.

If you want to contact me directly with this please feel free to do so ____@____.com
Good Luck
K.

Our 2 1/2 year old son recently got 3 fillings (between his molars, we were brushing but didn't think to floss) We go to a great childs dentist and all of his cavities were villed without sedation. They scheduled each filling separaetly so that it's a manageable length appointment, numb with novacain shot then do the filling with him awake.

Our dentist usually tries a tierd response to sedation. They start by trying the numbing shot only. If the child flips out, they move them to a private room where it's a little more mellow, then they might end up with the iv sedation, but only as a last resort. Sedation carries risks, so ask your dentist if there is a way to avoid it... like doing only one filling at atime.

Hope this helps.
T.

Hello,
I also have a 2-year-old with cavities on her two front teeth. Hers were because I had to take antibiotics while I was pregnant with her and the enamel didn't grow on a spot of each of her two top front teeth. I've spoken with two pediatric dentists who said that IV sedation is safe only for kids ages 3 and up. One of them recommended Benadryl before her appt. The other recommended nothing. I guess there aren't many if any nerve roots in those front teeth. So we're going with nothing. What she'll do is try to to a complete filling and if my daughter won't tolerate it, she'll put like a clear coat on it to stop the cavity from growing and wait 6 months to a year to fill it. Hope this helps!
A.

Hi N.,

My son has had multiple fillings, and all were done without full sedation, although nitrous oxide was used. He was 2 when he had his first dental work done. I recommend getting a second opinion from a dentist that does not do full sedation. We go to Orinda Pediatric Dentistry, and I believe that they also have a office in Berkeley.

Good luck!

First of all, stop the comfort nursing. At the age of 2, she should be self soothing. I also would not let anyone IV sedate my child unless it was life threatening.

Baby teeth will eventually fall out but the effects of IV sedation can never be reversed.

God bless and good luck -

B.

My eldest daughter had cavities on her 2 front teeth at age 2 as well. She drank the "sleeping juice" rather than the sedation IV and I DON'T recommend it. She struggled so hard not to go to sleep that I almost couldn't contain her and she was really out of it the whole rest of the day afterwards. I would have chosen to do the IV if I had known.

I definitely would not wait. Cavities are best filled before they become painful infections or gum disease. My husband is such a chicken with dentists, so I've seen first hand the pain and suffering neglect of cavities can do. It could even effect the forming adult teeth underneath.

One last thing, they tried to convince me to have her teeth capped with silver and I refused. They filled them with porcelain instead, and I didn't regret it one bit. I couldn't stand the thought of her going around with silver caps until they finally fell out around 5 or 6, no thank you. They tried to tell me the porcelain wouldn't last, but they did just fine.

For me it was a big lesson on keeping her teeth brushed even at her young age and I started brushing my younger daughter's teeth as soon as she got them and she didn't have a single cavity until just last year.

I have a little boy the same age that has the same thing. My dentist said lets wait and then put some really strong floride on his teeth. We are seeing her every three months. She said at this age that she would rather see if she can stop the progression and wait. She was great and very loving with my little guy. I was supprised that he did not cry once in her office.

I am right there with you. I have a 26 month old with 3 cavities on her front teeth and one on her molar, saw 2 dentists, one sedates , who I have used with my other children , who are all grown up now, did sedation with them and one was a bad experience as my child fought it , and the others were ok, now that I am so much older and wiser, I cannot imagine sedating my 2 year old now who also comfort nurses still. The other dentist does not believe in sedation, says he doesn't believe in the extra risks from the drugs, he just goes in and works really fast . I know that will be pretty traumatizing for my little one, but I think I prefer the trauma over the drugs, either scenario really stinks, I don't know why my children get so many cavities at such a young age. I also would like to wait a few months, but then you do risk more decay to there teeth. Let me know which path you chose as i am in the same boat.

My oldest grandson developed cavaties at an early age as well. His parents chose to wait. Big mistake. In the end, at the age of 4, he ended up with a couple of root canals and he lost all his upper baby teeth which were replaced with dentures until his permanent teeth began to grow in. I'm sure there are alternatives to IV sedation, though I've not experienced them. Do not wait on taking care of the cavaties though.

My son had several cavities that he had to have the IV sedation at 3. However the dentist would not see or do work on him before that age - so 2 seems a little young. However you should get those teeth fixed if they are bad because it can be painful to the kid.

With that said the IV sedation is not usually covered by insurance and is not cheap; however I'd rather pay 1,000 than go with the cheaper alternative where they drug your kid essentially.

It was very difficult for me b/c they give an initial shot and the child becomes lost and confused looking and just stares at you, but is unaware of what is going on. Then they take the kid to the back and hook up the IV sedation. The child does not remember, but the sheer look of the child and their state of mind after the initial shot was a very painful(sad) experience for me. It is worth it however. You don't want your child to be in pain and have teeth that are rotting. good luck

By the way the doctor who did the sedation was great and so was the dentist. They explained every detail exactly the way it all played out.

Dear N.,
I've been on both sides of the fence, so to speak. I've worked for a pediatric dental specialist and had children with tooth decay at early ages. My children had procedures with oral konking out medicine. And it worked just fine.
Pediatric specialists will use IV's, but not usually in their offices. They have to check heart rates and respiration, all that stuff. It's usually only done in cases of traumas or emergencies and if the child will be traumatized by being loopy and people working in their mouth.
My kids weren't quite so little at the time, but maybe they are thinking it will be better for her given her age. Ask questions and don't wait, whatever you do.
My daughter lost her front teeth because of a recurring sinus infection that settled into her upper gums and caused her agony. It was either pull the teeth so things could drain or drill holes in the backs of her teeth that would have to be flushed every day until they could be filled. They were baby teeth and she was going to lose them soon anyway.
Do what you have to do to make sure your babe is out of pain, but make sure there is an alternative or a reason for such drastic measures.

Best of wishes!

P.S. I want to second Ari's statement. Some children freak out more from feeling drugged than anything else. Some kids just kind of roll with it, like my son. Other kids absolutely bounce off the walls when they start feeling all woozie and completely drugged. You know your baby better than anybody, but if she is fearful and you can save her some trauma, just look at all sides. But don't wait to have it dealt with!

I haven't personally had experience, but my neightbor had to have it done with her 5 year old and she was fine. My 7 year old had a filling they used a topical soltion to numb him and when it was time for the needles I had him close his eyes and he did not even feel it. If she is afraid of needles, I know there are topicals that can be used in places other than the mouth, you can ask your dentist and then tell her it is a magic cream or somthing a 2 year old would find facinating. I wouldn't wait, becasue I would imagne the cavity would get worse, then they would have to do more work that would probably be more painful for her! GOOD LUCK!

I realize that this post if from a little while ago...but I have a 21 month old who is still nursing and has had cavities filled, on his front four teeth. I have to say I found many people had very strong opinions about how it happened and what I should do about it. I saw two different pediatric dentists in my town...the first wanted to do iv sedation and told me to stop nursing him right away...the second was a woman who nursed her own children and was a little more sensitive to the idea of weaning than the first. She was wonderful and let me and my husband decide what was best for our son. We chose to have his cavities filled without sedation, and to continue nursing him. We are happy with our choice, our dentist made us feel more like our son was probably genetically predisposed to get cavities because some night nursing kids never have this problem. Good Luck.

Hi there, having gone to school to be an RDA (Registered Dental Assistant) I say do not wait! If you wait the cavity could get worse and deeper and your little one could end up needing a baby root canal which is much worse! I have a 9 month old who nurses through the night (sleeps in my bed) and he ended up with a small cavity on his bottom tooth. I took him in (We go to Weideman Pediatric Dentistry in Citrus Heights... they are GREAT!!) and they did a small filling. It wasn't deep enough to have to sedate my son and they didn't need to numb him or anything. We did have to hold him down which he didn't like but the whole filling took maybe 5 minutes and we were done. He got to take home a toy and sticker and was happy the moment he got to sit up. They sang to him during the procedure to try and help comfort him. He did cry the entire time because he didn't like being held down, but he was not in any pain. Good luck to you!

Yes the nursing must stop. My son had a habit of chewing on rock and breaking teeth. Some of the first teeth they loose will be the front ones so you could hold off for a while, we started at about 4 and he has had 6 pulled and about 8 capped. he had a liquid sedation that he drank and recently when my now almost 7 year old who had all the work done and my 4 year old who has had none went in for cavities they used nitrous, I have never used the IV. I don't know if this has helped but good luck!

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