Denist Visit- 6 Cavities

Updated on September 10, 2011
P.K. asks from Wake Forest, NC
12 answers

My 4 year old daughter has 6 small cavities. I know at least one of them are in her 12 year molars. I of course felt terrible about this. My daughter is strong willed so she would fight getting her teeth brushed. The dentist did say that some people have a certain bacteria that can fight off cavities better and others do not. I can relate because I have had many procedures done with my teeth. My husband on the other hand brushed once a day and does not floss and has had nothing wrong with his teeth! At any rate, we had her sedated(basically makes them sleepy but they are still awake). She only let the dentist take x-rays and clean her teeth. She was pretending to throw up and would not sit still to let the dentist do his job. The only other option is to take her to the hospital to have anistesia in order to get the job done. This would be very expesive because we would go through both medical and dental insurance. The only other two options are to bring her to a dentist that forces them to sit still or we can try to get her sedated in 6 months hoping she will sit still this time. Any advice?? Keep in mind she still has 2 plus years until her baby teeth fall out and we are told if we wait for this to happen her teeth could have major issues. They say baby teeth are not as strong as adult teeth.

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answers from Louisville on

Agree w/Rachel K - 4 yr old w/12-yr molar - NOT!!!
Maybe just a typo, but my 6 1/2 yo just got in her first 6 yr molar!

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answers from Boston on

What 4 yr old old as 12 yr molars? Most don't even have their 6 yr (some do but lots don't) if your dentist told you that I'd be running for a second opinion and I'd probably go that route regardless. My youngest is horrible at brushing teeth even fights for cleanings and refuses xrays but did fine with just laughing gas when getting a filling. I'd do one that way and see how she does.

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answers from Savannah on

I went to the dentist at 5 years old and had 7 cavities! I was terrified to say the least. The first time I went in, I completely fell apart; what scared me the most was the sound of the drill. My grandpa had the idea to bring cotton balls for my ears. A simple solution that did the trick (even if it was just a little comfort). Whatever you decide, I would bring some cotton balls!

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answers from Charlotte on


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answers from Spokane on

My son HATES doctors, and anyone else who may be touching him without his express invitation! I about had a panic attack when it was time to go to the dentist for the first time (it was a requirement for state preschool). They recommended a pediatric dentist, and they found 6 cavities in his back molars :(
I have never had a cavity and was so upset thinking I just didn't take good care of his teeth - they assured me that it was likely because his molars are so close together that it was impossible to get all the bacteria out without twice a day flossing (brushing was enough hassle with him, flossing was out of the question).
They let him touch all the "non pointy" tools and listen to them as well, they did a quick cleaning and had us booked to take care of the cavities another day so that his first experience was quick, fun and he got tokens for their toy machine out front.
For the cavities, he was also sedated like your daughter, given sunglasses to block the light, a movie on the ceiling with earphones to drown out the noise of the drill, and they used words like "silver stars" instead of metal filling, they also hid all needles out of sight and were experts at distraction.
He layed in that chair watching his movie, and was so relaxed that his arm draped off the chair onto the dentists lap.
Note: This was the kid who I had to pin down, flailing and screaming to get two measly drops in his eyes at the optometrist last week. He has visited the dentist five times now and not one tear or complaint, ever. It's all in the approach. Find the BEST pediatric dentist in your area (we drive 45 minutes one way to go to ours, it is SO worth it) and use only them.
Good luck!

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answers from Nashville on

Have you gotten a second opinion? When my son was 2, he had one small cavity on his front tooth. The dentist said we should treat with flouride, brush regularly using flouride toothpaste and just watch it. He is now 5 and it hasn't gotten worse and it doesn't bother him. Our dentist did say the conventional wisdom is to take care of the cavities and not just watch them. If the tooth bothered him, we would do something about it. I make sure he brushes his teeth twice a day and we stopped using bottled water and now use filtered city water for the flouride. I think it depends on how bad the cavities are as to whether you really need to treat them now as opposed to being more diligent about brushing, getting regular flouride treatments and seeing how it goes.



answers from Charlotte on

Just a thought- how well do your trust her dentist? I had a dentist I somewhat trusted and had used for a while tell me I had 7 yes 7 cavities and I needed 2 root canals!! He even showed me these shadows on the x-rays he was saying were the cavities, I was sooo upset about it financially and for my poor teeth! so I had 3 other consults from 3 various dentists - not one of them gave me the same report- ALL 3 others said I had 2 cavities! This wasn't a cheap way out, but it was so worth it! Think of what it would have cost if I trusted the guy and paid for all of that work!! Gheez. . . . . Obviously I never went back to the shady dentist! If you do have to get these filled have you thought about sealants when she gets older? I never had them, but hubbs did and he swears by it for kids. . just a thought- good luck!!



answers from Oklahoma City on

Good grief. Do the anesthesia. Every visit from this point forward will be a battle for her each and every time you go to the dentist. Hundreds of thousands of children go get dental work done in out patient surgery every year and it goes fine. I know there can be complications but there are very few. I don't have any worries about it.

We have the best pediatric dentist and he puts them out, does everything in one visit, they wake up and a few minutes later they want to go to eat at McDonalds and play on the playground.

Our dentist take medicare on the kids so it didn't cost us anything. I know it can cost a lot but insurance should cover a huge chunk of it.

I have horrible enamel, my hubby has okay enamel. I do know some that have been told by the dentist that they don't ever have to brush their teeth again and they will NEVER get a cavity. Lucky person....



answers from Seattle on

Get a second opinion. You can take the same set of x-rays to several other dentists and see what they think. Two dentists can look in the same mouth, at the same x rays and one will see 12 cavities and the other see no cavities, just a bunch of spots that need careful monitoring. She may not need to have any work done at all.

Whether the issue is cavities or watch-spots, look into whether you could remineralize and/or stabilize them yourself through other means. I recommend these books:
"Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye: A Do-It-Yourself Mouth Care System for Healthy, Clean Gums and Teeth"
"Cure Tooth Decay: Remineralize Cavities and Repair Your Teeth Naturally with Good Food"

I also recommend looking into "oil pulling"

Finally, if you do decide that she needs dental work done, do a *lot* of roleplaying at home until she is comfortable. Do an extensive amount of roleplaying and then go for some fairly heavy sedation. Work with a dentist who will be patient and let her have some control over what happens when. Do not just force a mask onto her face. (That approach gave my stepdaughter a decade of scary flashbacks every time she entered a dentist's office.) Let her decide when she's ready to "go to sleep to have my teeth fixed" and let her put the mask on her own face.

With a good dentist, you can get even pretty serious work done without causing trauma or a lifetime aversion to dentists and dental care. I know several people whose young children have required major dental work....and the kids still like the dentist.

Good luck!



answers from Tampa on

I didn't read the other responses, but my sons dentist said the exact same thing about bacteria in the mouth making some people more prone to cavities. He went in July for his 4yr appt and they found 3 small cavities between molars. I felt horrible too as these teeth don't fall out till they are like 11 or 12 or something. My son also had a dying tooth (he knocked one of his front teeth loose a few months ago and you could see the root was black on xray (should have been white). Anyway, given the way my son freaks out in the dentist chair for a regular visit, they recommended IV sedation with an anesthesiologist. That would have been $700 alone for 45min because insurance didn't cover that because the anesthesiologist was out of network. So, after much discussion we opted to try oral sedation (still not covered but only $200 instead). Well, today he went for his tooth extraction and fillings. He got oral sedation, nitrous, and novicain. He was allowed to bring his headphones with him too. I was told that he was moving around, but they were able to get it all done, and it was fairly quick. And this is a kid that screams in the chair. The hygenist told me he made her lay the seat back before he would get in. I have no idea what went on other than what they told me. I would say maybe give your daughter some time then try again. It sucks to have to go through this and you may have to use regular anesthesia with her, but if they are letting you wait and see if she can do it down the road, I'd try that. Good luck!



answers from Colorado Springs on

One of my children would have several cavities every visit, and also was not a good patient. I just didn't know what to do about it. Eventually, we took her off of wheat and gluten, because of other symptoms she had. Amazingly, the next visit, which was nearly 6 months later, she was cavity free. She also had gained so much more self-control because of the gf diet. I later found out that gluten can be a major cause of cavities in some people. Isn't that amazing? If her body is sensitive to wheat and gluten, that may be the culprit on both issues (cavities and difficulty). My daughter is like a new child. We just never could understand why she was so different from the rest of the kids. Now we know.


answers from Dallas on

We did conscious sedation in the dental office and it went well. He has a anesthesiolgist from children's to handle and monitor the iv and it was so worth it! It has to be done so I suggest getting another opinion on just getting it done. My babies teeth started crumbling and breaking as soon as they came in. Its not always your fault :)

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