41 answers

Dentist Wants to Put a Crown on a Baby Tooth.

Hello! I'm hoping some other mothers have experience with the same dental issue. My husband took our 7 1/2 daughter to the dentist on Monday. The dentist came in for the consult after looking at her teeth and explained to my husband that she has a tooth that is "beyond repair" and needs to have a crown placed on it. Our children all go for regular dental visits and our daughter has never even had a cavity. When the same dentist examined her 6 months ago everything was fine. I guess my real issue is I have a problem with spending $1200.00 to put a crown on a baby tooth. According to the dentist she will have that tooth for another 4 yrs or so and it definately needs the crown. We are considering getting a second opinion on the tooth, our insurance however; wont pay for the second opinion visit. I would rather have the tooth just pulled than pay that kind of money for a BABY TOOTH! If you have experience with this issue, please let me know what you decided to do. Thanks!

What can I do next?

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my oldest son now 13 had to have a baby tooth pulled, but they put in a spacer until the adult tooth came in. Definately not as expensive.

I would agree with getting a second opinion! I would look for a dentist that specializes in children. It would be worth paying for a second opinion here. I would opt for pulling the tooth too (if it's not visible from the front).

Hello,
My daughter had 2 of her molars pulled when she was somewhere around that age. My dentist said that the ones that grew in after that were pushing against them funny when they grew in, causing a lot of damage underneath the skin. She has never had a cavity, but he said that these could abcsess under the gums. They were I think 12 year molars... they were the baby teeth, and the molars have not grown back yet, but she is fine so far. She is almost 10 years old now. It was really hard for me to watch him pulling them out, but he did not even suggest a crown, or anything like that. I had similar issues with my teeth when I was a child.

I think I would call him and ask him about it, Let him know that money is an issue.

More Answers

Hi A.. I am a pediatric dental hygienist in Madison. I understand your concern. I have a few suggestions.

1) call your dentist and voice your concerns and questions--you have valid ones.
2) Spend the $70 to get a second opinion if you are not satisfied with his/her answers. You may get a piece of mind.
3) Yes, it sounds like JUST a baby tooth. However, if you pull the baby tooth, you would need to have a spacer made and cemented in....not any cheaper. If you don't have a spacer placed her teeth will shift and block out the permanent tooth. Then later on she will need orthodontics to create space and have that tooth pulled up. Also, not a money saver. Kids have 8 baby molars in their mouths. 4 one year old molars and 4 two year old molars. She wouldn't lose them until ages 10 and 12. If you did nothing to the tooth the decay will spread. She could end up with an abscess (painful!)or more cavities.....

Did she have xrays for the first time on Monday? (that could be why there were no problems found 6 months ago) Some teeth do form weak and can break down quickly (its called enamel hypoplasia and is quite common) Why there is a problem now is a good question to ask.

Did you get an estimate for the crown? If you have insurance they should cover some. Also, $1200 is what an adult crown costs....they are made of gold or porcelain. Primary teeth (baby teeth) are crowned with premade stainless steel crowns. We only charge $240 for crowns at my office. It wouldn't hurt to find a pediatric dentist in your area to evaluate her. Kids teeth is what they do best!

I hope I helped. I would be happy to help out if you have any other questions.......Good Luck!

2 moms found this helpful

Yes, it is appropriate to put a crown on a baby tooth that has too much decay to leave enough tooth to support a filling, but usually it would be a stainless steel crown if it is in the back, and an acrylic one if in the front. So, it shouldn't be any where near $1200 like a porceline or gold adult crown!!!
I would definately advice a second oppinion, many dentists will even give second opinions for free or very little cost, just remember to have your childs records (especially x-rays)sent to the second opinion dentist before the consult, that will save you $$ in re-taking records.
Final note, you really do not want to extract the tooth, that will only create more problems later and more expenses later, you need that baby tooth to maintain space so the other teeth don't shift and then your looking at orthodontics.
Good luck

J. (dental hygenist and Mom)

1 mom found this helpful

My son also had a baby tooth that was damaged that wouldn't come out for about 3-4 yrs but rather than go to the expense to fix it, our dentist said that it wouldn't hurt anything to pull it. Maybe your insurance company would consider a 2nd opinion rather than pay for the cost of the repair? Or would another dentist give you an opinion on the phone in hopes of you switching dentists? Just a couple of thots. Hope all turns out well for you!

I understand it is expensive to put a crown on your childs baby tooth! However, do you realize that the other teeth will try to move over and become very crooked and uneven. I only wish my parents had listened to my dentist and put a crown on my baby tooth. Braces are not cheap either! Good luck!

I was just in this predictament on Tuesday actually. I knew they were going to give my daughter(7) 2 fillings but they warned me that the one tooth may or may not need a crown as well they wouldn't know the extent of how bad it was until they were in her mouth working. This is her back molars. Thankfully they were able to just put in a filling it was borderline needing a crown but they were able to get away without doing that.

Why do they need crowns on baby teeth you ask because they need those teeth until they're permanent ones come in and if you just let it go it will become infected, hurt and could spread infection, decay etc to the surrounding teeth. You could have her tooth pulled but that will effect her eating and you'll need to get a spacer put in so her other teeth don't shift out of place.

I wouldn't get a second opinion I don't think dentists make up stuff to cash in on us parents and put our kids through torture.

Hello,
My daughter had 2 of her molars pulled when she was somewhere around that age. My dentist said that the ones that grew in after that were pushing against them funny when they grew in, causing a lot of damage underneath the skin. She has never had a cavity, but he said that these could abcsess under the gums. They were I think 12 year molars... they were the baby teeth, and the molars have not grown back yet, but she is fine so far. She is almost 10 years old now. It was really hard for me to watch him pulling them out, but he did not even suggest a crown, or anything like that. I had similar issues with my teeth when I was a child.

I think I would call him and ask him about it, Let him know that money is an issue.

$1200 seems like an awful lot of money for a child's tooth that will fall out. I would ask if they were planning on doing a rootcanal with it. If they are then I would get a second opinion. Root canals are not done on baby teeth. My daughter had one capped but it was not near $1200. My insurance will not normally cover caps but did for the one the dentist did.

Hi A.,
I guess my first question would be, exactly what is wrong with the tooth that happened in the past 6 months that now it would need a crown? Is it suddenly full of cavities? Is it cracked? It sounds to me like something is fishy with this dentist. If there truly is something wrong, I would have the tooth pulled. My son had a molar pulled after it was broken in half, about the same age as yours. The dentist then put a space maintainer in to keep the other teeth from shifting until a new tooth comes in a few years from now. There is no way I would pay to put a crown on a baby tooth. I wish you the very best of luck! Kris

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