Extraction or Crown for a 3 Year Old

Updated on April 09, 2012
E.V. asks from Tempe, AZ
13 answers

We went to a pediatric dentist to have my son checked. The dentist told me that his molars, both sides are infected. She offered us either extraction or crowns. Well, she honestly told me that crowns still doesn't guarantee that there would be no infection in the future. So, we think extract his two teeth tomorrow. Becausehow if he has infection in the future and we don't have money.the dentist also told me to pay directly to dentist office, means we don't have to buy insurance. She knows that we are student family and the treatment plan cost 130 bucks: oral sedation, 2 teeth extraction. However, she also reminds me that molars are used until he is 10. So, both plans have the pro and cons, either from the financial aspect and others. What do you think? To crown or not. The cavities are really bad, though.
And what happens in oral sedation? Can you share the experience? I am really nervous. Thanks moms.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I would have the extractions. I had one crown done last year and it cost almost $1000. I had put this off by having a temp solution done that cost $100 and lasted for 4 years. If this was my child, I would have the extractions especially considering they don't promise the infections will be solved by the crowns.

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answers from Lansing on

You can have them extracted. However, they really should put "space maintainers" in the empty spots. Otherwise the permanent teeth may come up crooked, the other baby teeth will drift into the open spots. This will cost you thousands in orthodontics in the future. I've done both ways and honestly the easiest and less expensive was the extractions. Good Luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I feel for you and understand the money situation. BUT, money aside and even if I had money to spend, I would consider that having the crowns won't necessarily prevent infections in the future and consider my son having to go through one and dealing with that, so would opt to have the teeth extracted. Yes, they are used until the age of 10, but he will adapt.

And, know that problems can arise with crowns (my grandson's cracked and the tooth was then extracted) which is another possible complication that would also influence my decision.

Best wishes.



answers from St. Louis on

the general rule is to try to save the teeth to allow for proper growth & placement of the permanent (adult) teeth. Check with your local dental college....they may have better financial options for you. Your local university should be able to point you in the right direction.

The thing you need to know is: you say the teeth are "infected". Does he need root canals? Is there infection present in & around the roots? A crown will address only the part you see above the gum....what's going on down below?

For me, that is the starting point....what is the extent of the decay? Good luck.



answers from Honolulu on

I was wondering, what are they doing per the infection?
Does your son have antibiotics, as well? In order to stop the infection.



answers from Austin on

My son had a couple of "baby root canals" and crowns put on when he was very young..... I don't know that we even did the oral sedation. Our dentist used laughing gas (Nitrous Oxide).... he even dozed off in the dentist chair!

Oral sedation is just a liquid medicine (I don't know what kind) that will make him sleepy and groggy....


answers from San Diego on

Some of those molars they can have until they are 12 or older. My son is 11 and still has all of his molars. One of which has a crown.
What they should do it drain the tooth of pus if possible, have your son on a course of antibiotics, do a "baby root canal" which is very different than an adult root canal and then put a crown on it.
You son needs those teeth for his jaw to grow correctly and for all of his teeth to come in as they should. Just taking them out will guarentee that you will have to get braces and have lots of orthodontic work done which is far more expensive than taking care of the tooth properly in the first place and leaving it in place until it is naturally ready to come out.
My children have never needed full sedation for any of their dental work and considering 2 of my 3 have genetically week teeth, that's been a great deal. All they use is some "laughing gas" and a couple times they've used a special swaddle blanket that keeps them from being able to grab at anything.
We go to a pediactric dentist to get correct care for our children. Ours are also specialized in special needs children which we have found has helped with our children that aren't special needs.
Have they given him antibiotics? I do not think this dentist has your son's bet interest in mind.



answers from Washington DC on

My son had a cavity at the same age 3 and he had a crown put on, he is now 7 almost 8 and has had no problems. He use to be a big juice drinker thats how he ended up with his cavity.



answers from Augusta on

extractions. They aren't adult teeth, his adult teeth will grow in when they are ready.



answers from Oklahoma City on

Put that child to sleep and be proud that you care enough to let your child be free from the horror of dental work. Put yourself in their shoes, they are 3 not 13. They need you to be strong and let them go to sleep to have this work done.

I think doing the extraction would be my choice too, just for the fact that the dentist chose that option. If there was much hope they would have said crown in a second.

I think you are doing a wonderful job, however, please consider finding out if your state has medical cards for your children. If you are low income they can get free medical care and dental would be covered by this.


answers from Lakeland on

I would get the crowns and start brushing his teeth for him. He will need the molars for a while longer and not having them will make it hard for him to chew his food properly.

As for the sedation, how did he do when he was checked? Not all small children need it. Most often the will use gas (nitrous oxide to calm them) and get the work done then.


answers from St. Louis on

If it is only two teeth then go with extraction. My son had a genetic issue and six molars were effected. We had to go with crowns or he would not have been able to chew until his adult teeth came in.

I work for an anesthesiology group that does pediatric anesthesia. The nurses who work with our doctors say the biggest thing is listen to the instructions! They rarely have any issues but the few they have are from parents that don't listen. Oh what's wrong with a really small breakfast, stuff like that.

Andy came through it better than I do and I can't imagine he would have made it though the procedure without being knocked out.



answers from Seattle on

My son hit his teeth on a granite counter when he was 3. We extrated 8 teeth beacuse they cracked. He is now 14 and he will need braces but he was just fine :) good luck!!

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