Questions About 3 Year Old Dentist Visit. Need Opinions

Updated on July 19, 2008
S.T. asks from Long Beach, CA
72 answers

So i took my daughter to the dentist yesterday for her first check up. and i was shocked to find out that she has 5 or 6 visible cavities, and when he exrays them he is almost positive he will find more. and he recomends that she be put out to do all this work. and it will take about 2 1/2 hours. Keep in mind. SHES THREE. I was shocked and devestated leaving the office. i agree if she needs to fix these teeth that are going to fall out in a few years being put out is the best way to do it because she is so little. but i feel so un easy about the risks involved in that as well. and did i mention the 3,000 dollars it is going to cost to fix these teeth. THAT ARE GOING TO FALL OUT. I understand molars maybe because they will be in her mouth longer. but the front ones and all the other ones that are going to start to go in only a couple years. I feel like i completly failed her because up until just recently it has been a nightmere to brush her teeth. and im guilty of all the dried fruit, fruit roll ups and candy. and she still nurses in the middle of the night. im taking her to my dentist for a second opinion next week and spoke to him for a half hour today and he made me feel a little better. So i just wanted to see if any one else has been through this and see what other moms think. and did i mention she just turned three and its $3,000 maybe more once they exray her. and lets not forget a few of these teeth will be gone in a couple years. i just want to add that the dentist says that these cavities are visable but i, along with afew moms have looked in her mouth and see nothing. also a few moms that i know that have children with visible cavities showed me what there kids teeth look like and im not seeing anything that looks like tooth decay. yes i know im not a dentist, so i will get the second opinion on monday.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

WAIT! Don't do anything with this dentist. Totally sounds like a scam. My son who is four just had a similar amount of starting cavities (you could see the little brown spots on his molars) and our dentist gave him floride tablets to chew for three months. She said this would correct the problem since the cavities weren't that big yet. Go see another dentist for a second opinion. If you need another one, our pediatric dentist is incredible: Patricia Turley, DDS -
14650 Aviation Blvd. Suite 175, Hawthorne, CA 90250, ###-###-####. If your second opinion is the same, at least you'll have piece of mind. I hope it all works out for you!

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.L.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi S.! My heart goes out to you and your daughter. I have knowledge in this, I worked for a pediatric dentist in CA for 6 years. He too did sedation. For a 3 year old to have to go thru multiple dental treatment appointment's --- it would be VERY traumatic. As far as her losing those teeth--this is true but their are many reasons to do it. It the cavities are left to continue to rot her teeth, she will eventually be in a TON of pain. They will most likely turn into abcess's witch are MASSIVE infections. If the abcess is not treated, their whole mouth and jaw become swollen. And then if an abcess is still left untreated the infection becomes so bad it can KILL a child(infection goes straight to the heart). I saw children come into our office daily with abcess and 99% of the time the tooth has to get extracted and the child is put on antibiotics! Baby teeth are actually extremely important! If they do not remain in place the child can have speech problems, crooked adult teeth, etc. They are their for a reason and should remain their until it is their time to come out. Ok now here are two of the most important things. Make sure this is completely MONITORED IV SEDATION--meaning their is a board certified anesthesiologist their to monitor every breath and every heartbeat!! Their are some sikko dentist's out their who simply give the child something to drink and do not properly monitor the heart. Please this is so important. If the dentist says he is and anesthesiologist ask to see proof. Also the anesthesiologist should SPEACIALIZE in sedating children only. I hope i have not scarred you, these are things every parent needs to know. When she wakes up she will not even remember what happened. And dental visits should be good after that because she will not be scarred as opposed to the other way. If she was like 5 or 6 I would say just ask that she have nitious and she would still be awake, but I know she is still so little. Ok also definetly get a second opinion considering he says their are so many cavities. My guess is she was not able to sit still for xrays, and so you gotta think how would she sit still for treatment??--it would only be unsafe to her and the doctor. Ok and last please stop breastfeeding. It is so bad for their teeth. It just sits on the teeth all night and rots them. Brush her teeth before bed and give her only water thruout the night. Also I know that is alot of money and it's a bad economy, but I am sure you are in agreement with me that their is nothing we will not do for our children. Good luck! Message me if you have any questions. (Also if you are still unsure do a background check on the doctor).

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

I would recommend cutting her back on the sugar, and making her brush at least twice aday. That would prevent any future problems. You will need to have some work done though, or she will start to have alot of pain before her teeth fall out, and possible damage. If you do not have insurance, I know a company that offers great discount plans (includes all specialists and pediatric dentistry) You get up to 80% off dentistry, and Free Vision, Rx, and Chiropractic. It is under $20/month for everyone in your household. You won't be locked into a contract, and you can go to the dentist the same day. You can also you it in conjunction with insurance to reduce your deductible. I have this plan it is Ameriplan Dental Plus. It has saved me and my family so much money, my daughter is even in braces, and we get 60% off of those! I will give you a link to the site: http://www.mybenefitsplus.com/JBoyles

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi,
I would certainly get a second opinion. I am a pediactric nurse, and there is not way she would ever be able to get the work done in her mouth without heavy sedation. If it were my daughter I would have her knocked out, that way she will not remember, they will be able to do all the work (if your second opinion agrees that it needs to be done.) and she will not fight them, and hate the dentist for the rest of her life. There is a dental school at UCLA and Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles I think, you may want to call them also. Good luck with the procedure, and the teeth brushing!!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Wow! I feel like I wrote this same letter 3 years ago! I too had the exact situation. We did let them put her under and they did fix her little teeth. She did not remember a thing, I did. To make a long story short My daughter will be turning 6 next month and has a loose tooth. Since her treatment she's always been diagnosed with cavities, it never fails. So yes her teeth will fall out eventually. I also have a 3 year old and let me tell you she has 9 cavities that I am so not gonna take care of. Like you said it's not cheap, and well they will fall out. I've came down with the conclusion. if it hurts we'll take care of it.We've spent so much money on these teeth and they are gonna fall out! If only the tooth fairy can refund all we've spent!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

I had the same thing happen to my son who is now 5 and my middle son who is now 14. They both had something like 10 cavities. My younger son was treated with what they called "twilite" sleep. They gave him some medicine about an hour before the procedure then gave him the laughing gas during the work. I have to say he did amazing. I was shocked at how easy it was on him. My older son who had this done several years ago (about 10 or 11) was put totally to sleep and although he did good it was very scary on me to watch him come out of the anithesia (sorry for the spelling). There is a credit card called care credit that is just for dental work that my younger son's office reccommended because as you said it is in the 1000,00's of dollars for the work. It was a lot cheaper to use the twilite method and a quicker recovery time too. I highly reccommend seeing Dr. Bar Zion she is in Newbury Park. ###-###-####. The entire office was wonderful. Also they did decide to pull the front bottom teeth on my younger son since they are the first to come out anyways and they used the silver caps on the back molars he calls them his power ranger teeth. With my older son they pulled some of the molars but make sure if they pull the back teeth they put in space maintainers or there will not be room for the permanent teeth to come in he now has braces because of one tooth that didn't have space to come in another 4000.00 procedure. By the way my oldest never had any problems with her teeth it sometimes is just genitics. Don't blame your self too much these things happen. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.B.

answers from Reno on

Editing to add a link- So much misinformation about breastfeeding... BREASTFEEDING ALONE DOES NOT CAUSE CAVITIES!!- http://www.aapd.org/media/pressreleases/breastfeeding-99.asp
There is no use beating yourself up for something you can't change. The only thing you can do now is move forward in a positive direction.
Both of my kids (12years and 20months) are so far cavity/caries free but I had cavities growing up. I realize that they are just baby teeth and it seems like such a huge amount of money but there are a lot of reasons to take care of this now. I just had this discussion with some other moms on another board not too long ago so the information is fresh.
First off, on the issue of breastfeeding. I'm an ebf mom too (still going strong at 20 months) but I have eliminated the nighttime feedings. I only nurse in the morning and at night and before naps. Occasionally throughout the day as well. If you're not ready to give that up, you don't have to. This time is short and you can continue to nurse. In fact, it's helpful if you do. (you will get advice that is contrary but trust me, ask a lactation consultant to confirm). BUT try to wean her off the nighttime feedings. Breastfeeding does not cause cavities though and the CDC stopped using the term "nursing mouth" in 1994.
Make changes now. No more candy unless she's willing to let you brush her teeth afterwards (I brushed my son's until he was at least 6. As he got older, I let him brush and then I'd "finish him off" with the top, bottom, front, back and molars. Watch the juice and try to give her fresh fruit instead. If you only get one brushing a day, make it the night one. Try to make a game of it. Sing, take turns (don't share a tooth brush but give her one to brush yours while you brush hers with another) Perhaps you can make a game of it by seeing who can brush the longest.
Secondly, dental caries (cavities) are contagious. Once they're in the mouth that bad, it's very difficult to stop them without fixing them. From a link I'll provide you with at the end..."The CDC and the dental and medical communities consider ECC to be the most prevalent infectious disease of American children (five to eight times more common than asthma), with 8.4 percent of all children developing at least one decayed tooth by age two, and 40.4 percent by age five." If she still has good teeth, you want to take care of this to save the rest. They can also become extremely painful to her (I know from experience). Teeth rot to the root too and if her permanent teeth are there in waiting, they can be affected as well. You are not spending $3000 on baby teeth, you are spending it on your daughter's health. I would talk to the dentist and see if they can cut you some kind of break.
Anesthesia is scary but it will be the quickest and least traumatizing way to deal with this for your daughter. Like another poster said, make sure you find out what kind of anesthesia and that they are using a good anesthesiologist.
As moms, we all make mistakes. The true test of character is how you handle it afterwards. Be strong and do what is right for your daughter's health now. Once this is taken care of, research, research, research and teach your daughter good oral hygiene from here on out.
Now for the links I promised you :)
As a nursing mother in particular, this is the best article and also discusses dental caries disease in full detail. If you read only one of the links, this is the one.
http://www.mothering.com/articles/growing_child/child_hea...

And others
http://www.nature.com/bdj/journal/v201/n10/full/4814259a....
http://www.llli.org/NB/NBSepOct02p164.html
http://www.healthychild.ucla.edu/Publications/Documents/E...

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.C.

answers from Santa Barbara on

Get her teeth fixed, as these cavities can cause poisenous toxins in her body. Apply for Care Credit, they have awesome plans with 0 interest rates for as long as I believe 24 months with a low minimum monthly plan. If you get a lump sum in the future (taxes) pay off as much before the 0 interest rate term ends. I experienced this same scenario with my 4 year old (now 12). It was scary for us as a parent to see your child go under local anesthesia, but it was well worth it. I believe at the time there was a state program that paid for almost all dental work but $600 for the sedation. Start researching and I wish you luck....

http://www.carecredit.com/

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.D.

answers from Reno on

Hi S.. You are not alone. My daughter is 4 1/2 and she had her first dentist appt a couple months ago and she had a lot of cavities and needs some caps. They sedated her in theri office and took one completely out(one of the cavities, very rotten and had to come out) they were supposed to take two out that day but said she was moving too much and didnt want to take the chance . Her dentist suggested we put her out in th ehospital and she would do work there. Well, we dont have insurance and the bill was like $3,000. total. We are making payment son her first visit and th eone tooth that came out. It was a night mare!!!! She was so miserable and in so much pain after , she bit a hole thru her lip so had to deal wiht that aswell. We havent gone back knowing she needs those other teeth out because we dont want her to be put out in the hospital! Oh when she was 17 months she used to go to bed with a sippy cup(we knew better but wanted her to be happy and go to sleep) well it was half water half juice.We didnt know how much damage it was doing. Looked at her teeth and was really dark and grose!!!
So now we are paying for it. But i completely understand how you feel and what your going through. Let me know if you have any solutions to this problem as far as second opionions and not having to take them to the hospital to be put out !!! Tineill -Mom to one daughter and one baby boy

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi S.,

I just recently went throught the same thing with my 5 year old son. I would definitely seek the opionion of another dentist preferable a pediodentist. I would like to recommend him to you, his name is Dr. Yu, he is in Culver City ###-###-####. He was very up front and wanted to find a solution that worked best for my son. I too was terrified of him being put to sleep but in the end it was painless for him and myself. My son had more teeth than your daughter that needed a lot more care and I did not pay that much. Good luck and pray a lot. I did

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi S.. I feel your pain. My little girl is three too, and we had to take her to the dentist too to check for cavities. But she is the same way. It's a fight everytime to brush her teeth that sometimes I just don't want to deal with it. No cavities yet (thank goodness) But I remember thinking the same thing in case she did have cavities. I was thinking is it worth it because she's gonna lose her teeth anyway. But then I was reminded that my oldest daughter (she's 10) didn't start losing her teeth until she was 7. And then I thought that's a really long time if you think about it, for her to be without teeth. So just think about it before you decide. It doesn't seem like that long but it could be 4 or more years until she starts growing her adult teeth. Good luck in whatever you decide :)

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

so this exact thing happened to me when my now 4 1/2 y/o was a early 3. They told us the same thing....put to sleep and lots of $$$. We decided we would avidly brush his teeth, (I also breastfed him till he was 2 1/2 and he didn't have a whole lot of sweets- so I didn't really understand why he had all these)however we restricted the sweets and then just watched them. I took him about a month ago and he was able to sit still while they filled them and did the cleaning. I'm a nurse and It is just really scary to put them to sleep when they are so young. I vote to watch an then maybe a new dentist if you feel like they might be $ hungry ( the so-called pediatric dentist we fist saw I felt was!)Best of luck.
K.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.B.

answers from Reno on

I may not answer your question specifically but this is exactly why children need to go to the dentist much earlier than they are.

My personal dentist recommended that I take my daughter to a pediatric dentist as soon as she turned 1. I thought it was early but I did it anyway. They don't do much at 1 year. THe point of the child going is to become acquainted to the office. The real point of the visit is PARENTAL EDUCATION.

I learned HOW to brush my daughter's teeth. I learned what foods to avoid. I also learned that the earlier I got her off pacifiers, bottle/breast and even sippy cups, the better. The dentist told me that night time feedings were a "no no". I learned that saliva washes down the bacteria that causes cavities. When we sleep our saliva slows down and bacteria from the food we ate stays in our mouth unless we brush it out. The moral of the story- try to brush her teeth before ANY sleep time.

Specifically for you- only you and a dentist you trust can decide what's best to do for your daughter's current situation. But PLEASE, become education and learn from those mistakes. Take care and good luck.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.L.

answers from San Diego on

It's good you're getting a second opinion. However, if that dr says they need to be fixed then I would definitely have them fixed. The reason being is the condition of the baby teeth has some affect on the permanent teeth.

I don't see why they have to do it all at one time though. Yes it's easier to get in and do it in one sitting, but on a child that young I would be hesitant. My son has had several cavities filled and they don't even use numbing stuff on the area. He gets a little laughing gas and that's it. When I asked about that his dentist (who I LOVE!) said that at that age they don't really feel it and the needle would traumatize them.

Good luck.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

maybe ask for payment plans, its somthing that has to be done. A root canal would be alot more expensive, and thats what cavaties turn into. If you extract all her "bad teeth" then think of the trauma she will have in school from kids teasing her becasue she has no teeth or she has a speech problem because the teeth were not there to help her with her speach. Put your lips over your teeth and try to talk. Its doesn't sound right. My son is 10 and still has some of his baby teeth. I understand its expensive, but it needs to be done. If you do have insurance, ask the dentist if there is other ways or payment plans for the remainer. If no dental insurance try a diffrent dentist, or healthy families. There has to be a way. If you want to keep breastfeeding at night, its fine just you and her need to both understand that after she is done with her mid-night snack then she needs to brush her teeth. Maybe this will wean her from the snack as it is not somthing she needs at 3 years old.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.C.

answers from Honolulu on

I hate to say this, but these teeth, esp. molars will be around until she is maybe 10 years old. I'm so sorry that you and your child have to go through this. I hope you can knock her out for the procedure and somehow make it pleasant so she doesn't develop a lifelong fear. Good luck

K.A.

answers from San Diego on

My oldest son has genetically weak teeth so we've had a world of pain and problems, he's 7 now. He wasn't 3 yet when he had his first infected tooth that needed a root canal. He'd only had that tooth about 6 months, less than year for sure. His teeth are *That* weak! There is no reason to do it under general. We used nitrious oxide (laughing gas). The first couple visits they put him in a papoose board which is basiclly a large swaddling blanket type thing. The only reason they needed that to start with was because we had been to a couple dentists already, one would not treat him because he was so young but our insurance insisted that we see our "Primary dentist" first before seeing a pediatric one. We saw the recommened pediatric dentist from our insurance and ended up filing a formal complaint against him (Yes, he was THAT BAD). We ended up going to one our pediatrition recommended and got them covered as an emergency dentist at an out of network cost. By the time we saw the one who ultimately did the work his whole side of his face was swollen and he was in extreme pain. The worst part to all of this is that since he was complaining of his ear hurting we brought him to the drs first thinking he had an ear infection, she irrigated his ears because of wax buildup and for a couple days he said he felt better. Shuffling through the dentists took a couple weeks, they never have an apt right away, but the insurance ped dentist still charged us for an emergency visit! so this went on for a good 2 weeks before it was finally taken care of.
They need their teeth so their jaws develop correctly and so their teeth come in correctly. Before they even start losing teeth they get a set of permanent molars in the back (my son just got his all in all the way so they can be sealed to prevent any problems with them). They keep their last baby molar until the age of 12 is what our dentist told us. Also, nursing has nothing to do with the tooth decay. I have a younger son who's 4 1/2 who still nurses to sleep at night. In his entire life he's had a total of 3 very small cavities. That's it. Compared to my 7 year old who, before the age of 4 had 13-15 (I lost count!). My oldest stopped nursing just before his 3rd birthday and before quiting all together was only nursing once a week at best for about 5 months before that. You child isn't too young to get covered by your dental insurance so I would look into that.
Granted with insurance we still paid a good deal, out of network kills. But I was also adament that they use no metal fillings which cost more and the nitrios isn't covered at all by insurance, but it's cheaper than general.
Unless your daughter has a really hard to work with temperment there is no reason to put her under. I would get a second opinion!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

S.,

I just went through this with my 6 year old son. Same situation -- 6 visible cavities, more problems exposed with X-rays, and the recommendation that he go under general anesthesia for the nearly 3 hour procedure. We did it just two weeks ago, at a cost of $3,700. We went through a certain amount of anguish in deciding to go with a general, but if we didn't, we would have had to have multiple trips to the dentist in order to do the work in stages. We thought that by doing it all at once we could spare him that trauma. I'm happy to report that it all went incredibly smoothly. Our dentist was Dr. Ruth Becker in Torrance, and she was terrific. Let me know if you have any specific questions, and I'd be happy to answer them if I can.

L.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.Z.

answers from Las Vegas on

well you are not alone, children should betaken to dentist at about 1yr old. my son went at 18months because his to front teeth were chipped. i thought he broke them head butting things . i was so wrong he ended up having 8 cavities. yep 8 i felt like a hoible mother too!. we had the surgery 3 weeks ago and the worst part is after when you see them and they are swollen and when they come off the anesthesia itshrrible ,my son was combative because he didnt recognize me.but i would do it again because cavities are painful whenthey eat and drink ,yes these teeth are going to fall out but it could be many years and they would be in pain all that time and it would affect how they eat, what they eat. you would just be causing more pain for them and they could absess and becomeinfected which could go to their brain. yes i know it cost alot but if you have insurance it should help with some of it and it is worth it for your child not to be in pain.
good luck
R.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.K.

answers from Honolulu on

Yikes! I have not personally had to deal with this, but one thing that you might want to ask the dentist(s) about is if the permanent teeth are in place yet. I know that you said she is only three and it would be uncommon for the other teeth to be ready but my sister (who is several years younger than me) lost 8 teeth when she was 4 because the permanent teeth were coming in.

Best of luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

hi there. We went through the EXACT same thing when my son was 3. We talked to 3 dentist,one being my father in law even! They all agreed that the work needed to be done, not for aesthetic purposes but bc at some point the rotting will start to cause pain to your child and then an even more severe surgery will be needed. We tried 2 pediatric dentist and had the most awful I can't say it enough AWFUL experience with one in irvine, if I remembered her name I would tell u. Then we found dr. Lopez in Newport beach, the entire surgery was in his office, and my son who doesnt do well with doctors even loved him ( so much that he wanted to to back and tell him thank you!?!?) Our son also had to be put under anesthesia, which like I said they do in the office not at a surgery center (yes, there was an anesthesiologist there :) throughout the ENTIRE procedure) If you do decide to do it I suggest requesting the first appt bc the kids can't eat for, I believe 12 hrs before the surgery, so its easiest if u can take them first thing. Here is an update for you we just went for our check up and everything is great! If you do decide please just meet dr lopez he and his staff made the experience as easy as it could have been. Best of luck!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.D.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi S.,

I know it is very shocking to be told that your daughter has 5 cavities, has to be put to sleep while she is getting the fillings, and all to the tune of $3k. Yes, definitely get a 2nd opinion before you get the work done just to make sure that you are getting accurate information.

If your daughter does have the cavities, my sense is that they should probably should be filled since it will be at least a couple more years before your daughter loses her baby teeth and a lot of damage can be done in that amount of time. What once could have been a simple filling may end up being a root canal or an infected tooth. And, as a precaution, I would make sure that they are using the white apoxy filling to fill the tooth and not the metal amalgram that has mercury in it and is highly controversial.

If your daughter does need to get the fillings and it is going to take 2-1/2 hours to do the procedure, I would definitely put her out during it. That's a long time for someone so young to be sitting still, especially under such circumstances. If she only has to get one tiny cavity filled and she tends to be more mature for her age, then maybe you can get away with just giving her a local.

I have a number of friends who have had to pay $3k, more or less, for their kid's dental work when they were about the same age and their reaction was much the same as yours. Now that she's 3, you'll probably cooperating more with her brushing routine. The next time she goes to the store, let her pick out a cute little battery operated tooth brush for her to use and she may be more motivated.

Good luck.

L.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

I'm lol with you, welcome to the kids that have soft teeth. I know that you would like to hold off on doing some of these teeth but you don't want her to have tooth aches and these cavities will get bigger, make sure you brush them the trick is to brush for 2 minutes they have toothbrushes that play music for the 2 minutes so that you can time it. My son gets cancor sores when he doesn't brush, I have decided I don't care if it hurts him he must like cancor sores because he doesn't brush himself and when you tell him to go brush he does it with no toothpaste and more or less sucks the water out of the brush. So when I do it I just really don't simpathize with him any more. You should start brushing 2 to 3 times a day and get her in the habit now, I would suggest you do the brushing, if she won't let you then she doesn't get the candy and fruit snacks that day. Good Luck to you. J.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

my little sister had a similar problem (but she had baby bottle tooth decay and the cavities). her dentist reccamened just caping them (witht he silver caps)but by your daughters age she had no fron teeth because they were soo rotted and soft they fell out after she bit her dad. also her mouth was sore a lot so it limited a lot of what she ate hardly anything hard or tough to chew (meat raw vegies and fruit). it also didnt help that she was given a lot of candy and was never made to brush her teeth if she didnt want to. doesnt your daughter have dentle insurance? that should cover what is being done or a least part of it. i know what would be scarey to me is having my child put under (but i do understand that its the easiest way to do it so they dont move) but i believe most places let you hold them till they are passed out. yes i agree with getting a second opinion to see how another dentist would handle it. but i think i would go for getting done all at once so theres no repeat visits having to have her put under. good luck i really hope you find a solution!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

I may have just inadvertenty sent another version of this before finishing the message...

My 3-year-old has cavities. The pediatric dentist that we went to uses intrevenous sedation, which I wasn't comfortable with, so I got a second opinion from someone with a different approach. Dr. Dian Olah works to build your child's trust and comfort (which may take a few visits) and does not use anesthesia. She is also mindful of insurance constraints and bills insurance (which is so rare on the Westside). She's not for everyone and every situation, but it may be worth giving her a call. Here's her website: www.drdianolah.com. Good luck.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

Dear S.,

I understand your concern about cost, inconvenience, etc. However, let me share with you that the baby teeth, your little girl has, have roots. The new and permanent teeth are formed under the baby teeth and will be infected and decaid before they even come out when she is 7 - 9 years old if you do not take care of them now. The reson to put her under is to make her more comfortable and to help the dentist to do his/her work very carefully and well.

My daughter had 23 + cavities in her 20s due to medication and she had to go to the hospital to get it done. Surgery in a latex free environment lasted 6.5 hours and the cost was over $7000 but it was all worth it. Now, she is no longer on those meds and her teeth and the dental hygiene have improved tremendously. She hasn't had a cavity in quite some time.

Please, look into your daughter's future and into her new teeth and their possibility of being damaged before they are out, due to bad baby teeth right now. I know it's expensive and it's even a bit nerve wrecking to see your little one go under; however, she'll be doing much better afterwards. Bad teeth can also cause heart problems in the long run. I am serious when I say that I had an aunt who was complaining about a toothache for years. The dentist never found any holes, but when they did, it was too late for her and she passed away within a few months. I do NOT want to scare you, as my aunt was in her 50s and your daughter is only 3, but I want to caution you to do what's best for your daughter in the long run.

May you make the best decision you can.

Thinking of the two of you and what you are going through.

A little about me:
I am a mom of one beautiful daughter with now good teeth.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

The first thought that popped into my head was HMO dentist? Before my daughter was born I had a HORRIBLE experience with an HMO Dental place... they said I needed all sorts of things. I left in tears and ended up paying full price to go see my regular (however not network) dentist. He said there was nothing wrong!!

So, definitely get a 2nd opinion!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

I would without a doubt, absolutely get a 2nd opinion from another dentist!!!! I have heard about outrageous scams from dental offices.

You can never be too cautious!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Baby teeth start to fall out around age 7-8. The cavities will cause a LOT more damage to the roots and gums way long before then. Get the work done now and stop feeding her candy. (Sorry for the wake up call.)
M.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

I would definitely get another opinion. Sometimes cavities are so small that there is really no need to address them yet. However, cavities can affect the permanent teeth and you don't want to create another problem later by not addressing it now.

People respond differently to being put under, but most people are okay with it. All the children I know who've been put under have been fine with it. However, if you still have issues with it, I know of at least one pediatric dentist that can play movies while procedures are done and this may be an alternative to keep your daughter's attention away from the procedure.

Furthermore, I know $3000 is a lot of money. I am of the opinion that you can't put a pricetag on the right thing to do. You need to get over the money issue to ensure the proper health of your child. Easier said than done, I know. The economy doesn't help. But, there are financial options.

Finally, stop kicking yourself for "mistakes" in the past. I don't know if they're really mistakes as some children are more prone to cavities than others. However, just make sure you know how to prevent them and make it a priority going forward. My daughter hated brushing her teeth, but it was not an option. For a while, my husband would hold her down while I brushed her teeth. It didn't take long for her to realize teethbrushing is not negotiable. There are also so many toothbrushes out there that make teethbrushing fun like the ones that play music! You may also reward your daughter with a sticker each time she brushes her teeth. And then, when she has a certain number of stickers she can receive a prize/treasure or special activity (but avoid the sweet treats).

You may also consider after all of this is done to have sealants put on her teeth. It's extra money, I know, but insurance to prevent further issues. My son was showing risk factors and I chose to pay for the sealants on his molars. The risk factors have disappeared.

Best wishes!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

If you have medical insruance it should cover the cost of the teeth being done in the hospital, I have to have my son put to sleep for his teeth, although we do it in a hospital, not the dentisit office, he has been put to sleep about 3 times, in the past 19 yrs. He is disabled, and gags the minute you even think about putting a tool in his mouth, the anathesia is different than regular sugery one they dont go into such a deep sleep its a twlight sleep, ask lots of questions who is putting her to sleep and ask to see creditionals.. If you dont do something and the cavitity hits a nerve then your really gonna be in trouble plus paying for emergency treatment which will double the cost, you should get a second opinion, and think ahead of this, if she gets worse and the cavitity hits a nerve.

Lesson learned MOM ,

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

Before you proceed, may I suggest a second opinion with a specialist not connected with your current dentist that specializes in pediatric dentistry. Try www.harbordentalsociety.org, which has several pediatric specialists listed in Long Beach. If you are willing to expand your search area, there are specialists in nearby towns as well. Maybe this will help you decide what to do.
Remember that a bad dental experience can traumatize a child. My spouse had a horrible experience and refused to see a dentist for 30 years. Fortunately for him, he has beautiful strong teeth and only had ONE CAVITY that needed to be filled and no periodontal disease. By the way, do you and your spouse have teeth with lots of cavities? Bad teeth can be hereditary. Also, be sure to check out fluoride supplements with your pediatrician to strengthen her teeth. Good luck.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

hi there! My daughter is 2.5 and went to the dentist for baby bottle rot-- our dentist was so awesome- he did it while she sat in my lap! She now has lil veneers and we really have to watch the sippy cup. Find someone that is good with kids. we live in the high desert- i recomend one if you like, my kids love going to the dentist now! And I have 5! Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.B.

answers from San Luis Obispo on

you have to fix her teeth. if you don't,they can rot the adult teeth underneath them. also, take a good look at your teeth and your husbands. chances are they are prone to cavities just like your daugher's. most dental problems are genetic, not from poor hygiene. but if you don't fix her teeth, their can be serious problems for the adults ones underlying. not to mention it will be years before these baby teeth all fall out. she can get abcesses, cracked teeth, gum infections, all types of problems.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.B.

answers from San Diego on

I had a similar situation, except both of my kids had 8-9 cavities and had to be put under. Actually, I tried to get the work done with just laughing gas, but they were so traumatized from trying to get just one side of the uppers done that they wouldn't even get back in the chair for another visit. So...I did bite the bullet and get the work done. I should also say that most of the work was for the molars, which will stay in until age 10-12. And the thing that really pushed me was my son got a toothache...since teeth are not an emergency and it was friday afternoon, I had to wait 5 days before they could get me in with the dentist/anesthesiologist. I wanted to cry! My son was crying at night and I had to give him advil several times a day just to give him some relief. Also, my son's cavities had progressed so far as to require baby root canals on 3 of the teeth which have already had to be replaced once (apparently this is common in baby teeth). So that's my attempt to let you "off the hook" and hear that it has happened to other moms out there. Now I am adamant about brushing, flossing and not allowing anything but water after bedtime. I realize that if I want them to have healthy teeth for now...it's up to me =)

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.W.

answers from San Diego on

My 5 year old son was sedated under general anesthesia and had cavities filled, a root canal, and a crown put on. It went fine, though the whole coming out of it phase was creepy because he kept trying to walk and collapsing to the ground. They told me to surround him with pillows and not let him on the couch or anything because he would fall. You should get the teeth fixed, even though they'll fall out. It's important. My bill was $2800, I put it on a credit card and it took me 2 years to pay it off.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

Rotten teeth can lead to a lot of other health problems. Pulling them or letting them come out to early can lead to speech impediments. If the money is of a concern look into medical. If you don't qualify see if you cannot use a dentist who specializes in pediatric dentistry. My children don't always like to have their teeth brushed but a good firm grip works everytime. BTW, nurse her for as long as you and she find comfortable. I nursed all 3 of mine past two. My son recently had his first dental appointment at 2.8 years and the first thing the dentist said, and says with them all...beautiful teeth. And trust me as a private chef they eat anything they want including candy, cakes and pies! It is the brushing everyday (more than once) and we also have a toothbrush in the car, that keeps the teeth healthy.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.G.

answers from Las Vegas on

honestly...i regretted having my daughter knocked out for teeth work. she had hers done in december 2006 and she was only 5. she was sick with fevers and loss of appetite for a couple weeks, she even had headaches, bloody noses and nightmares. to this day she still gets occasional bloody noses and she has headaches all the time. I didnt really want her to have it done and figured they will just fall out anyways but her dad took her anyways, i have never been so upset with her father because his decision left my daughter with problems that are worse than the cavities she had on her baby teeth. its hurts when your child ends up having one of the risks.

though if you go through with it...i really hope the best.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.T.

answers from Las Vegas on

Dental health is SO important! I worked as a dental assistant for 6 years for a family dentist...so I have had experience with all ages. I only quit because I am now raising my own family. This is the advice I can give you from experience: Have the molar teeth fixed first...because they will be there the longest and because they hold the space for the permanent teeth for so long. If you keep the molar teeth healthy and in her mouth for the time that they need to be in there there's likely to be less orthodontic problems later on (i.e. crooked teeth and spacing). $3,000 seems too pricey to me...but maybe that's because they are going to put her out to do it. If you get them fixed one at a time without being put out it might be cheaper...but would also mean more trips to the dentist. The price per tooth depends on how much decay is in the tooth, which tooth it is (a molar will cost more than a front tooth), and how many surfaces of the tooth are destroyed (your teeth have 5 surfaces). I know you already know this...but brush regularly...at least twice a day. If she doesn't let you brush...let her "take a turn" first with the brush then you say "mommy gets to have a turn now". It's all a control issue at this age...so let her feel like she has the control...but get the brushing done! You will see a huge improvement in her dental health.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi S.
So sorry to hear your daughter has so much dental work to be done. I was a dental hygienist for over 24 years and worked with families in the South Bay for almost all that time. Your daughter will need those teeth to function properly in her chewing and the first step of digestion; masticating the food. She will need those teeth for speech development, and personal hygiene practice and proper tooth alignment for the permanent teeth.
Using an pediatric anesthestist and "going under" would be the easiest for her, if you can't manage to brush her teeth, how pleasant will these dental visits be for her?
Yes, the work is expensive,in addtion she may need endodontics (root canal) to prevent toothaches along with fillings.
and if you have ever had a toothache, you would not want her to have one. have you ever smashed your finger in a door? you wouldn't want her to suffer that...
You will figure out how to budget for this cost, give up the sticky food (soda, candy prepared foods), give up TV cable, or cell phones gardener, gym magazines,manicures etc.and whatever costs extra, and be proud that you can take care of her in the proper manner. Shop around but make sure you feel super comfortable with the Dentist and the assistants and you will know you are doing the right thing. They should have no problem with you watching unless your daughter starts to act up, then you should let them do their job, and watch from a place hidden from your daughter's view. She will respond better in the long run...believe me it's harder on the Mom's than the kids! D. Do the right thing and learn from it. Start taking care of your own teeth too!!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi S.,

We went thru much the same thing when my daughter was little, she even needed a baby root canal, except that they ended up pulling that tooth instead. I was so upset. We didn't even find out at first because she wouldn't let my dentist near her.

I ended up taking her to a pediatric dentist. I don't know where you are, but the one in Oxnard is great - I wish they took adults. They took really good care of her, she was no longer afraid of the dentist and one time even encouraged another kid who was afraid. They were decorated as a space ship, used laughing gas and played movies for the kids to watch.

I had to pay a higher copay, because they are considered a specialist but it was worth it in the long run.

If you don't have insurance, look into Healthy Families, it was a huge help for me when I went thru a rough spot financially.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.H.

answers from Las Vegas on

definitely get a second opinion. I went to a new dentist who said I had a few cavities (mine was booked up) after never having one. I got a second opinion. I didn't have any (that was five years ago-no problems still).

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.M.

answers from Reno on

Hi, S...

I know exactly what you're talking about. My daughter was diagnosed with "soft enamel" and thus, had 8 caveties which were so bad that the teeth could not be saved. She was barely 4 years old and we were faced with the outrageous bill, as well. Of those 8 teeth, included were front ones on her left side. The dentist put her under, and it was much easier on her that way. They gave her some "punch", and within 10 or so minutes, she was in dreamland. She awoke with a mouth of cotton swabs and being a bit confused on her time loss. Now, at 5 years old, we're noticing her second set of teeth are just barely beginning to want to come in. In the long run, I think it's better to have had them pulled then to attempt (at more $$$ and pain to the child) to fix the caveties and then cap them.

Don't know if this helps you at all, but there you have my experience. :-)

L.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

Her baby teeth need to be there to keep the space for the grown up teeth she will be getting. If the space closes she may need to have braces or more down the line. And it's not just a couple of years, most kids lose teeth at around 7 or 8. That's 4-5 years that her other teeth have to close the gap and misalign. See if they offer a payment option or a less expensive alternative. Also, explain to her if mommy can't brush her teeth she'll lose them and not be able to eat treats. I only have to tell my toddlers that once and brushing teeth has never been a problem since. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

This SAME thing happened to me with my 4 yr old son.. You didn't by chance take her to Corona Dental did you? they said my son had 4 cavities and they would need to heavily sedate him.

I work in Anaheim and have a dentist I have seen (on work days) for 20 years - but I live in Corona - so my sons dentist is there... Altho I have since changed to a ONE dentist office verses the clinic scenario. that place is a joke. Anyways, I spoke to my dentist and he recommended if the teeth do NOT bother him (to the touch) he was ok. One of the brown spots is something they called a carmel cavity - from nursing and the bottle. Well, he's in luck, his teeth don't bother him. So we're waiting unless something changes - like maybe they start rotting - which they're not even close. he just has a few brown spots.

The clinic dentist wanted $250 for the anastesia, and additional for each filing - so I was looking at about $1000. and this was with my Safeguard insurance.

My suggestion is DON'T DO IT unless her teeth are rotting!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

Dear S.,
I'm sure you've done your best job with your little girls teeth and I was relieved you are taking her for a 2nd opinion. I am a Registered Dental Assistant for the past 30 years and YES it is possible for her to have these cavities and VERY important to fix them also and especially because she could have pain with them and will not lose most of the baby teeth til around age 7.that's a long time , PLEASE do not think of taking any teeth out either. I reccommend you ask your dentist for a referral to a PEDODONTIST (childrens dentist ) that you feel confortable with and is well recommended to you.You need to be educated on how to care for her teeth and try different toothpaste so she will enjoy brushing her teeth, maybe crest for kids(tastes like bubblegum ). That also seems like too much money for the cavities YIKES. Please get you dentist to look at and if you have any questions or I can help you find a dentist let me know : [email protected]____.com . I live in Fullerton ,CA and have worked all over Orange County and know lots of good Dentists if you need help. Do not go to just anyone for her work and especially if your insurance is pushing you to do so.
This is after all your beautiful baby girl and I'm sure she is precious to you and deserves the absolute best care she can get.Best of luck to you, keep me posted please !!
K. G.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

I understand your frustration with this. I was a pediatric dental assistant for many years and saw this quite often. It is very frustrating when you know these teeth will fall out. The hard part is that it wont be for a couple of years. The decay in the baby teeth can also affect the permanent teeth. It is very important that you take care of the baby teeth to insure proper growth of the permanent teeth. It is obviously best that she is put under to do this treatment. There is always risks with that, but it is very routine and done all of the time. I would just suggest you find a pediatric dentist who does it often and that has a good reputation.
Best of luck to you and your daughter.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.G.

answers from San Diego on

First, don't blame yourself. If you have been brushing her teeth and limiting her intake of candy then you have been doing what we all have been doing. There are many reasons to have decay. Everyone's saliva is different and some people are more susceptible to decay. An example is I am the middle of three girls. My mom treated us all the same with brushing teeth, candy eating, etc. My older sister and I were in our late teens before getting a cavity but my younger sister was 3 years old. Unfortunately she has always had to be more proactive with her dental treatment and prevention than my older sister or me.

The bacteria that cause decay are contagious and so if you or your husband or even your daughter's caretaker have active decay (cavities that aren't filled) then they could pass it to her. So make sure you all see a dentist regularly. Some baby teeth are formed with very thin enamel (same with permanent teeth) and that could make her more susceptible to decay.

If she's only three and right now, her permanent teeth are finishing being formed in her jaw. Most likely the earliest she would loose her baby teeth would be 5-6 (more common is 6-7) so that is another 2-4 years that she would keep her baby teeth. The current decay would get worse and potentially cause abscesses to the baby teeth and even the permanent teeth. So it could cause permanent damage to her permanent teeth. I know the cost is huge, but it is very safe to have the sedation plus she wouldn't have any lasting fears of the dentist. Ideally it is best to make the dentist office a "non-event". I know many people who had bad experiences at the dentist as a child and have life-long fears as an adult.

I hope your dentist can put your mind at ease with the second opinion (you can also take the x-rays to his office so he won't have to retake any) Good luck and let us all know how it goes!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.D.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi S., My daughter recently had a small cavity filled (she is four) and they wanted to knock her out too. Now this was only for one tooth, not several, but my husband and I were adamant about not using sedation. They just used the laughing gas and she was fine. It took the laughing gas and the anesthesia for her mouth longer to take effect than the whole filling took to fill. This was in a molar, too.

Even though the baby teeth will indeed fall out, the health of the baby teeth can impact the health of the adult teeth. In fact, there are children whose adult teeth come in with cavities or other problems because the baby teeth weren't taken care of, so I would encourage you to find a way to get her teeth taken care of as three more years with cavities could be really detrimental to her overall oral health. Hopefully the second opinion will be that the other dentist is wrong and she doesn't have the cavities, but in case they're not, I would say find a way to get them fixed.

By the way, I nursed my daughter until she was two and often in the middle of the night without brushing. From what I know, that should not harm her teeth the way regular milk does because of all the great antibodies in breast milk.

Hope this helps!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

We had a similar situation with our then 2.5 year old daughter. They found several cavities, one of which they wanted to do a baby root canal for! I was shocked. They told us it had to be done right away. This would entail either strapping her down, or putting her to sleep (risks were too much for me). But, we got a 2nd opinion. We found a dentist specializing with babies and toddler. His name is Dr.Smith. He didn't see the need for such a stressful procedure on my baby. He's amazing! I would recommend checking him out at toothclub.com. Don't be in a hurry. Do some more research. Most young dentists today often perfom unnecceary procedures (according to an old dentist we met). It wouldn't hurt to wait and get a 2nd opinion. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.Y.

answers from Reno on

I am going thru this also with my 5 year old. The things to base your decisions on are as follows: 1. She not be afraid of the dentist.She is going to have to go to the dentist for the rest of her life, keep her unafraid now. 2. Her teeth kept in good shape even though they are temporary because they will determine the health of adult teeth. 3. Cost should not be an issue because even if you have health insurance, welfare headstart and other places will help with any cost you have. I am putting my daughter under because it gets it done all at once instead of having to do visit after visit. and If you have ever had a toothache you know how bad your day gets

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

Okay, yes it's a shock. My 5 year old, in the past year, had to fill 4 cavities....which were all located in between the teeth where it is not so visible.

It IS expensive. These are her baby teeth and it will fall out... but the thing is, if it is not taken care of...they can get rotten teeth and further mouth problems, abscesses & complications etc.

In my daughter's case...the Dentist said it's NOT her fault...her teeth are VERY closely spaced, and it is impossible to get the teeth clean in between the teeth. Thus, she has to floss...which she does, but she/us forgets sometimes.

ALSO, the Dentist explained that "cavities" are NOT caused by sugar...it is caused by a "bacteria" and some people have it naturally in their mouth and some don't. That is why some people can each junk food and not get cavities, and others can eat it and get cavities. The brushing of the teeth is important because it cleans out the mouth...because as food breaks down in the mouth, the bacteria feeds on this and plaque. This is also why, it is important the people/kids do not share toothbrushes or other things which go in the mouth...because the bacteria can transfer. BUt yes, if the child eats sticky things/fruit/candy/raisins/fruit roll ups it gets stuck in and between the teeth...as the food breaks down it causes decaying food which the bacteria feeds on and creates cavities etc.
*Here is link about it:
http://www.google.com/search?q=what+is+the+bacteria+that+...

So, in my daughter's case... this is her problem. Yes, her teeth will be falling out...but oh well. We needed to get her teeth filled. HOWEVER... at her age, our Pediatric Dentist DID NOT do it all in one session....he had my girl come back in several visits...to finish the job. At this age, it is SO not wise to have them get ALL the cavities filled at one time....it's hard on them. That is why my dentist does it in several visits, spaced out between a couple months. The mouth will also be numb afterward, so that is another concern.

To "sedate" the young child during the procedure... our Dentist did use that "laughing gas" which relaxes them...it does not put out my child...but relaxes them, and they are "aware" of their surroundings. This was done per Parental permission or course. AT a young age such at this... it would be very difficult or impossible to get them to sit through the procedure without a tantrum/crying etc.

Well, that has been our experience. I know, it's not cheap. For us, the cost was about $200 for our portion of the co-pay...for one tooth.

All the best, hope this helped,
~SUsan

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

From what I've seen around me, this is very common. Don't beat yourself up though. I know a few Mom's who's kids had a mouth full of cavities and yet they hadn't seen a day of solid food and their Mom's brushed their teeth. Sometimes it is in the genes, other times it's not. It's done, now you need to find a place that YOU are comfortable with doing the procedure. On my most recent cleaning, a 3yo boy was in the seat next to me getting fillings. He did not have to be sedated. I asked the dentist, how the heck did you give him the shot without him freaking out? He said, it's all in the delivery, the little guy was distracted while the dentist gave him the shot - obviously he didn't see the needle and it doesn't really hurt, just feels like some pressure, so the boy never knew what happened. The biggest problem you might see, is while a child's mouth is numb, they are very likely to chew on their cheek/tongue.

You are right, the teeth will fall out, but these teeth will be around for 2-4 more years. If you don't have insurance, apply for care credit as another poster stated. We used that for our dog when she needed surgery.

Again, what's done is done, don't be so hard on yourself.
M.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hello, I have a 4 year old daughter (now turning 5) that needed a lot of dental work. One dentist said it would cost about $3,000.00, I took her to Loma Linda and it would cost around 1,000.00 (lower cost and my insurance paid for some, putting her under was the main cost $600.00). (she had to have 3 mini root canals, 6 crowns and 3 fillings). I felt the same way that her teeth were going to fall out anyways. The Dentist told me if I did not do the work that it was possible the her teeth would crumble and she would have more problems later on. I had all the work done it took about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Her teeth are doing good now, she has had check ups and teeth cleanings and no problems. I would fix her teeth, it has really help my daughter.

C.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

When my son was about 2 he had to have 3 partial root canals on his 3 front baby teeth. I didn't want to put him out so they "papused" him. They imobilized him by straping him down on a board. He yelled and cried out for me to help him the whole time. I was only able to touch his leg which didn't help. It was traumatized for both of us. When my daughter was about 4 or 5 I had her knocked out to fill three cavities. It was over quickly and no trauma. As far as wondering wether or not to do them, you probably should. As I understand it, if the cavities are left untreated they could harm the permanent teeth. That would be even more expensive and have life long repercusions. We have very minimal dental insurance which doesn't cover much so I understand your reluctance to pay $3K. Getting a second opinion is a good idea but I think you'll end up doing it. If you can see the cavities so can everyone else and kids can be cruel when a another child is "different". Good luck.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

My daughter had three cavities, now fixed, when she was 18 months. I consulted her pediatrician, who said young children would never sit through a dental visit and cooperate in opening their mouth long enough to get the work done. That is the reason for the anesthesia, which needs to be general, because young children don't have twilight sleep. I have to say it was harder on me than on my little one. She has no memory of it what so ever. I will suggest to get the work done first thing in the morning because of the pre-anesthesia instructions. I didn't know it prior to scheduling our appointment and my daughter had to go through the day without eating and later drinking anything.
As for why fixing teeth that are only going to fall out? the cavity can dig itself deeper and deeper and eventually affect the adult teeth that are going to grow into the affected area. $3,000 does sound like a lot of money, it may help to get quotes from other dentists. Good luck.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

S.,
I work with these cases all the time. I work for a pediatric dentist here in town. First off, let me start by telling you that you're not an awful mother. It's all about learning what caused this and how to avoid it. Because it WILL happen again if better habits are not implemented. Brushing your baby's teeth in the morning AND at night is essential. Try to make it fun. Do it together. Or let her brush first and then say "it's mommy's turn to brush your teeth now." Get her a two minute brushing timer and tell her she has to brush until the timer runs out. Kids love this!
We do IV sedation in my office. In our office, we bring in an anesthesiologist from UCLA pediatric dental school. Educate yourself about the procedure. I can say, as heartbreaking as it is to see the children put out for the procedure, it does make it easier for them. They don't have to come back for multiple appointments, be aware of injections in their mouth, etc. Besides the fact that if they don't sit still, the procedures cannot be completed. So they get it all done in one appointment. It becomes a non-experience for them versus a traumatic for them. Yes, these are baby teeth, but she will not lose them for about 4 or 5 years. And if not fixed they could cause her extreme pain. If you choose to pull them, she will need what we call "a kiddie partial". Which is essentially a permanent retainer with fake teeth on it, cemented into the mouth. My stepdaughter had bottle rot, and had to have all her front teeth pulled when she was 2. She got the partial and has had nothing but problems with it. So now, at 5, she runs around with nothing, no teeth at all in the front, and gets teased at school. Believe me you will thank yourself for making her dental health important. Taking care of her oral health is no different than taking care of her medical health. If not taken care of, in a postive, non-traumatic way, in can cause her extreme pain, and then she will forever fear the dentist. I would recommend staying at the pediatric dentist who specializes in children. I have worked in both, and we are very well trained and experienced in working with children and helping them enjoy coming to the dentist and giving them a positive experience. Ok, well I hope this helps. Let me know if you have anymore questions.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.W.

answers from Reno on

my husband and i recently went through this. our daughter had a few cavities and needed to be put out to have it done since no amount of coaxing could get her to even take xrays. the day of her surgery we found out that one of her front teeth were not growing right (root damage from a previous fall) and would need to be pulled. she had no problems after the surgery and everyone was great. any question just email me.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

My grandson had the same experience at about the same age as your child. Yes, it was very expensive and he did have to be completely sedated because of the amount of work done in one session. He was seen by a pediatric dentist located by children's hospital. His uncle is a dentist and he advised my daughter that this was the best way. He is now almost 8 years old and has suffered no ill effects. But I would recommend a pediatric dentist preferrably one that specializes in sedating children.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi S.,
My name is A. and I have a 4 year old son who I just took to the dentist for his first visit & experienced sort of the same thing except that my son hs 10 cavities that need to filled. I had the same concerns that you did being that these are not permanent teeth & my husbands insurance will be maxed & we will still have to pay out of pocket like $9K. Dr. also recommended getting them all done at once & putting my son to sleep bcuz he has so many & in order to prevent a negative experience with the dentist at such a young age. I haven't gotten the work done yet and although I don't have any advice to give you I was wondering what kind of response if any did you receive that wld be helpful to me.

Thanks,

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

P.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

My 4 1/2 daughter was told she had 5 cavities. We got a second opinion and the new dentist said she had excellent teeth and N o cavities. I'd say run to get a second opinion!!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

F.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

hi S.,
i need to understand the possible reason for the possible cavity problem.....in addition to other foods, she's been eating for 3 years, dried fruit, fruit roll ups and candy?

besides a dietary change, i would strongly recommend her being seen by a pediatric dentist and perhaps get 2 opinions from 2 pediatric dentists. if you need some references, let me know.

what's her weight like?

parenting is a learning experience so just hang in there...it's going to be a wild ride!
best,
michele
mother of a 15 1/2 without cavities but with 8 yrs. or orthodontic work and regular visits to a great dentist & orthodontist and mother of a 20 yr. old with a few cavities who plays on the university of oregon football team that only need 2 yrs of orthodontic work. every child is different!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Yikes! That's a big dentist bill. I just wanted to mention one thing. Keep in mind that whatever happens to their baby teeth WILL affect their adult teeth. They already have their adult teeth and if the baby teeth rot away it can go into their jaw and start to ruin the big teeth underneath and even their jaw and that could affect their dental health for a VERY long time and be even more expensive in the long run. I don't want to scare you but I just thought you should know. I do think you're doing the right thing in getting a second opinion, especially on the price (it seems really high), but I do think you need to take care of the cavities.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.S.

answers from Santa Barbara on

I'm not in the dental profession, but my mother is a hygienist and she has mentioned to me that there can be effects on the permanent teeth when there are cavities, etc in baby teeth. I would encourage you to do some research on this so that you are giving her the best dental future you can. Also, I had an irritating great-aunt who demanded that any sweet foods be followed by a water swish/rinse routine...it helped me in the long-run an can do a little if brushing her teeth is difficult after those kinds of snacks. Good luck with it!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.P.

answers from San Diego on

my daughter had a superficial cavity at 3 and the dentist was able to fill it w/o putting her out. Is your daughter cooperative enough to do that? Perhaps you could break up the fillings so that you could avoid anesthesia?

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.

answers from Las Vegas on

S.,

The problem with not fixing them is that the infection can get into her permenant teeth also and that can cause serious long term problems. I vaguely remember somewhere reading that the bacteria from rotten teeth can cause heart problems. I don't think it is anything to mess with and not take care of. My 4.5 year old has autism and is very sensory-defensive of his face so I completely understand "nightmare" when it comes to brushing a kid's teeth. For the longest time I would lay him on the floor between my legs, pin his head between my thighs and his arms under my legs and that left both hands free to brush his teeth (and I'd pinch his nose closed if he wouldn't open his mouth). Was it a pain in the butt? Yes. Did he kick me in the head a few times? Yes. But his teeth get brushed really well at least once a day (the other time I would always try to do it without pinning him). He's also much more cooperative for his dad that from me so if my husband is home and not at work, he gets teeth duty.

Nursing by itself shouldn't cause cavities unless you aren't brushing her teeth well. I think there is a good article at www.kellymom.com about the subject (it is a great breastfeeding resource). Breastmilk by itself won't cause tooth decay but breastmilk combined with sugars from other food on the teeth will cause serious decay.

I don't know if you are in Las Vegas but if you are, I take my kids to Dr. Sina on Green Valley Parkway. She's an actual pediatric dentist (and a mom) not just a dentist who happens to work on kids. I've been really happy with her. My son broke his front tooth when he was about 18 months old and we've had to have it filled twice. I haven't had him sedated either time (just dealt with the screaming) but for a longer procedure, I'd probably consider it.

Good luck,

T.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.S.

answers from San Diego on

I have a now 7 yr old boy who was born with a cleft lip and palate--and so we've had numerous surgeries including dental ones like you're describing. I WOULD do this--I would put her down--I did with TJ--they can work quickly and easily with her out. Remember--she won't lose these teeth for another roughly 3 years.....and you don't want decay in the mouth that long if you can help it.

It was after my son's dental surgery like this that every night I literally would sit on top of him and brush his teeth. End of discussion-_I went through it once--not doing it more than that. He's 7 now--for about the last year I floss them too. His pediatric dentist said that you let them brush their own teeth when you can trust them with your best china! :) Now I do only brush his teeth 1x/day--but obviously it's extremely thorough and we've had zero problems since. Sorry---but my recommendation is to go through with it.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

I would get a second opinion! I have heard about dentists doing this and personally I think it's questionable. Our dentist believes in reversing cavities early on. Let me know if you would like her name and number -- maybe you could talk to her or someone in her office.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.B.

answers from San Diego on

We had the same situation, first I say go get a second opinion. My son had 7 cavities that had to be filled and he was only 4. They did 4 at one visit and 3 the other, he wasn't there more then half an hour each visit. We had two choices either give him the straight shots to numb him, or give him laughing gas, we went for the laughing gas even though it was more expensive, I didn't want him to feel pain.
Especially at such a young age.I do recommend getting them done though, because if you don't they can actually get infected and also damage the adult teeth, even though they will be falling out.
Let me go back at tell you my son has always loved to brush his teeth and doesn't eat really that bad. I guess he just has bad enamel, so don't feel that bad. We get a second chance once those adult teeth do come in.
Good Luck

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.M.

answers from San Diego on

Can you get dental insurance, then it should cost less. Since she's so young, you can have her sedated. They do it all the time with young kids. She NEEDS to have them all fixed, even though they will fall out. If they are not fixed, much bigger problems could develop, like root canals, etc. Let this be a lesson for brand new moms that you should not give a bottle to a baby in the crib, because the juice or milk sits on their teeth, and limit the candy, and don't nurse past a year old. You should definitely wean her now - three years old is way too old to be nursing. I wish you the best of luck.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

First off, yes, eating habits/brushing effect cavity formation, but there is also a genetic component, so stop killing yourelf over it. You can help by stopping the candy and "fruit" snacks (not a piece of fruit to be found in them). Also, enough with the breast feeding, she's too old. You might want to consider whether you over indulge your daughter, remember no can be a very powerful and loving word.

I had the same ish with my daughter, and the first dentist I took her too said the same thing- which I was not into. I took her to Oak Park Dentistry in Agoura for asecond op and they told me not to bother with filling the baby teeth, they kept an eye on them, to make sure that none abcesssed etc. Eventually they fell out. If you're near there check them out, they're amazing with kids.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

I think you are really smart to get a second and possibly third opinion. I am so sorry for your circumstances, but some of it is genetic too, so don't be too hard on yourself and don't go backwards... we can only go forwards. Be weary of the overcharging pediatric dentist. They are certainly out there and we are easy targets. Good luck! We have had good experiences with Kenneth Greenstadt in Torrance and Jolene Holden in Manhattan Beach.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches