Aspen Dental and Dental Problems in My 3 Year Old

Updated on September 08, 2014
G.T. asks from Canton, MA
15 answers

Has anyone used Aspen Dental? I guess you can get one of those 50% off plans if you use one of their offices, and considering the amount of dental work my 3 yr old needs, I was looking into it. I thought I'd ask if anyone out there has had experience with them.

Secondly, my 3 yr old daughter has very soft teeth, that are very close together with lots of 'divets' in them, making her mouth a breeding ground for cavities. Despite all the brushing and flossing, she has 8 cavities. EIGHT. The dentist recommended using anesthesia and getting them all filled at once. My husband does NOT want her to do this, which I understand, but they said she is not a candidate to have one tooth done at a time for several reasons -
1. the kiddos still need novicaine which can hurt, which makes the kids scream and squirm, and the work cannot get done and if it can get done, not properly or as well as it should
2. when they come back for their following visits, they are already scared making the dental work even harder to do - leaving the kids scared of the dentist for a long time
3. the fillings hurt and the anesthesia makes it easier on all involved

I'd love some thoughts on this! Thanks Mamas!

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answers from Louisville on

If they are offering 50% off - they are likely way overpriced to start.
How did they determine these cavities? Did they x-ray her teeth?
I recommend a 2nd opinion like others have suggested.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Houston on

This is hard for me to say, because I am a dental hygienist, and have worked for a "chain" dentist for about 3 months (not Aspen). I would never take my children to a dentist that is part of a corporate chain. There is a certain way that all chains operate, and they call it "production based" You can guess what that means and you will probably be right. Everything that is diagnosed is commission in the dentist or hygienists pocket. I work part time for a non chain dentist and the difference is alarming.
It is very possible for a three year old to have eight cavities, it happens sometimes especially with an enamel defect. But eight cavities all at once will require sedation. Not novocaine (local anesthetic) but OUT, all the way. There is no way that a three year old will stay still enough to tolerate an hour or more of dentistry. So that part wont hurt a bit, mask over the face, breathe a bit of gas, OUT. Take her to a pediatric local dentist that can do sedation dentistry, and hit her up with fluoride varnish from now on every 6 motnh. As well as that get her to use a fluoride rinse daily and chew on xylitol chewing gum

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My first thought on this... I would not do business with any medical provider who has discount coupons.

Health and safety are 2 things I will not compromise on at all.... most especially with my child.

Is this your regular dentist? Do you truly trust this dentist? Have you received a 2nd opinion? What are your Pedi's thoughts about this as well? Have you spoken with a pediatric dentist?

I can understand your husband's point because I would not want to put my baby under anesthesia unless it was very necessary. That said, I don't think you have all of the information needed in order to make an informed decision. If your child's teeth are indeed that bad, I agree that anesthesia might be necessary but ONLY after careful consideration and more fact finding.

I would never do this with a new dentist that I just met. I am very picky and my relationship with my Dr's and Dentists are very personal and I trust them. We have built those relationships over the years.

Are you looking at a coupon because you don't have insurance? We don't carry dental insurance by choice because it is not worth it in my opinion because you get 2 cleanings a year and if you do need work, it only pays 50% in some cases and does not pay for porcelon (sp) crowns and tooth colored fillings. Cash price outweighs the premiums paid in.... my opinion. We pay cash for all dental work and received a discount for paying cash. Look into that option.

I hope you find a good solution to your child's dental health.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

My son had cavities filled when he was 4. They used nitrous oxide and he did great! The main reason they used it was because it is so hard for little kids to sit that long without wiggling. I would recommend using the anesthesia. My son has no reservations about going to the dentist. Our daughter had cavities filled without it at about the same age and she hates going to the dentist.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Get a second opinion and stay away from dental offices that are part of a chain.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Des Moines on

I cannot stress enough...STAY AWAY FROM ASPEN DENTAL!!!

I went there, and also had 8 cavities. I have only had two my entire life, including childhood. I knew it was BS. Took my free xrays to another dentist, and low and behold, not a single contact. ZERO. They are scammers! There are so many negative reviews, I only wish I would have read them sooner. Also, I had bonding in high school for a space between my two front teeth. It has since chipped away a little and I asked them to price out rebonding. The dentist told me he couldn't do that and I had to get crowns. Another round of BS. The real dentist of course would rebond.

You do need to get to a pediatric dentist, and it will cost you. Sometimes you get what you pay for. If it was aspen dental that said she had 8, then you may save yourself a ton of money just getting another exam at a real dentist.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

What you need is a pediatric dentist. Not a family dentist but a pediatric dentist. They are specialist in baby teeth but can continue treating their patients all the way up through 18.

For God's sake let the doc put that child to sleep and do all the work at once. She will be asleep with general anesthesia and she'll go to sleep and wake up all done. Ready to go eat and have some fun. She won't remember a single thing about it. It's the safest and easiest way to do this.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Reading on

Re aspen dental. I've heard a lot of negatives - here:

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I would go with the anesthesia and have it done all at once. I can't imagine subjecting my 3 year old to eight trips to the dentist, each time getting a shot of novacaine. I doubt she would sit still for that; I can guarantee that I wouldn't even as an adult. For me, the absolutely WORST thing about the dentist is that darned shot!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Juan on

My son who needed extensive dental work wasn't put completely out but rather given oral sedation. He did very well other than having an emotional outburst after all work was finished however I should mention that our son is autistic so in our case this was an expected outcome. Perhaps see if that could be an option your case.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

I have never used Aspen Dental but my son has a few cavities and in fact is having one filled next Tuesday he also broke a tooth and had to have it fixed. I would suggest getting them done all at once. My son sees a pediatric dentist and love her, but she uses gas and lidocaine with epi and he has never even made a peep when he gets numbed up because he has the gas and a TV is on right in front of him. But IMO do it all at once life will be easier.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I've never used Aspen Dental. My son had similar issues wih cavities (but never needed 8 fillings at once) and he used to come to Dr Byrne (Main street in Watertown Sq) with us and Dr Bill was great with him and used to just numb up the area in question and do the filling. I don't know if that would be an option for your little one. My sone switched over to Dr Caravolas in Waltham,due to the type of work he needed (extractions and an appliance), nothing to do with Dr Byrne. We've never needed anesthesia with his fillings there either. Don't know f you'd want to check it either one for anoher opinion
Good luck


answers from Dallas on

hi G.,
my daughter at age 3 had to have extensive, whole mouth dental work done. They somewhat pressured me in to having her "sedated" or twilight sleep to get it all done at once and I agreed. I was a nervous wreck and they gave her a little silly syrup which made her act weird. About an hour after that they took her back and monitored her vitals and gave her an IV and did the work. It took about 30 minutes to have her entire mouth done and I was not at all prepared for when they were done! First of all she was hysterical! Screaming and crying because she had no idea where she was and what was going on. It was awful! Also, her mouth looked like she had been beat with a baseball bat. Her mouth was so swollen and she could barely open her mouth. They gave her pain meds in the IV and she was not in pain at all and he put something on the gums to stop the bleeding as well so the actual procedure was good. The emotional toll was more than I personally could handle! yes, she is not scared of the dentist because she doesn't remember it but with her being 7 now there is no way I would risk anesthesia again. She would be getting the Nitrous and numbing stuff and would have to put her big girl panties on!! You need to weigh the risks with the benefits. It did go smoothly for us but I will not risk it again. at her last appointment they said the same spill, lets sedate and get it done at once..blah, blah! No thank you and the office will work with me and my daughter and if it takes 8 different 1 hour appointments spread over time then that is what it would be! Best of luck Love



answers from Wausau on

Major dental problems often require bigger measures. What was suggested by the dentistry is not unusual for a big job on a child that probably won't be still and calm.

Ask about conscious sedation vs general anesthesia. CS is done by having the child swallow a liquid that puts them into a groggy altered state. When my son was 4, he fell and damaged a tooth badly enough to need a root canal. He has absolutely no memory of that dental visit even though he was not actually asleep.



answers from Portland on

My 3-4 yo grandson needed 3-4 cavities filled and a tooth drilled and capped. The first dentist said he would use general anesthesia which required an anesthesiologist with the added cost of several hundred $ not covered by dental insurance. A friend recommended a different pediatric dentist. We learned that there is morevthan one anesthesia. The new dentist used a twilight anesthesia or maybe nitrous oxide. I don't remember now. No injection at all.

My grandson was groggy when they brought him out to me. He was calm. He is autistic. The first dentist even tho she was a pediatric dentist had a great deal off difficulty keeping my grandson still just for an exam. The second one completed the initial exam with no difficulty. My grandson is now 11 and asks to go to the dentist.

I, too, urge you to get a second opinion. And to get more information about the anesthesia. I would not use general anesthesia with an IV and an anesthesiologist. I do highly recommend twilight anesthesia. I have had twilight anesthesia for other medical procedures and had no difficulty with it. I've experienced a difference when they've used different dosages. I suggest the mom whose son had a bad experience happened because te dentist either used too much or too little. I suggest feeling comfortable with the dentist and his skill when giving permission for whatever procedure he uses.

I do recommend some sort of anesthesia other than novacaine. Otherwise, as explained by both dentists the teeth havevto be filled one at a time which is hard on the child, the parent and the dentist. It's good to get it all done as quickly and painlessly as possible.

this reminds me. With general anesthesia the dentist would do all of the work with one visit. With the twilight anesthesia we went to 3 appointments.

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