Tooth Pulling Options for My 3 Yr Old

Updated on September 02, 2011
V.L. asks from Belmont, MA
7 answers

My 3 yr old, oddly enough, has a deep cavity which the pediatric dentist says needs to be pulled. I have seen an oral surgeon who recommends general anathesia for the procedure. She says if they do a local he will have to be held down. Does anyone know of other options? This all seems pretty involved for one little tooth.

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answers from Washington DC on

Sedation for serious dental is often recommended. Little kids don't understand. Even at a regular cleaning my DD can't always keep still. You can talk to another pediatric dentist about this if you want another opinion from a pediatric POV. Which do you think would be less traumatic for your child? Being restrained or being sedated?

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answers from Dallas on

We chose conscious sedation. She had a kiddie cocktail, got a little loopy and walked back with the nurse where a anethesthiologist put a iv in her hand with a little "juice" and she was fine. No pain no reactions best decision I made. I wrestled with it a long time and was a nervous, bawling mess but she was great and still loves the dentist. She was 3 and a half and had her whole mouth done with 4 extractions
Ask for anything other than holding her down
She will be terrified forever! Good luck mama

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answers from Houston on

My daughter had to have little caps put on some of her top teeth, something about soft enamel. I would recommend being drugged, over being held down. My daughter was given like a tylenol 4 kind of thing, she was awake but out of it and wasnt phased by the whole thing, but one of the caps came off twice and i had to have it cemented back on. For this relatively painless procedure they swaddled her in a big blanket and basically restrained her, i wasnt allowed in the room (they say babies do better without mom and sometimes mom freaks) Both times my daughter had to have her caps re-cemented and she was held down she came out all red eyed and whimpery. Broke my heart.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

Have the child put to sleep. Why make them be held down, why make them have such a horrible memory that may effect them for the rest of their lives when it comes to going to the dentist.

They put them to sleep in a surgery center or out patient surgery center, they are safe, they go in, go to sleep, wake up, and once the anesthesia gets out of their little system they are ready to go play.



answers from Pittsburgh on

My son had to have O. of his front teeth extracted at about age 5. He did amazingly well with a shot of novocaine. He certainly didn't have to be held down, but 3 is maybe too young to *understand* what's going on.....
If it was MY 3 year old and two oral surgeons were telling me that general is the way to go, I'd probably go with that. You don't want him to fear the dentist.


answers from Harrisburg on

My son just had three of his baby teeth removed by the oral surgeon so that it gives room for his adult teeth to come in. We went the oral surgeon route so that they could be "asleep" and not remember anything. I didn't want to traumatize him by taking him to the dentist and them ripping the teeth out.



answers from Philadelphia on

I would recommend getting a second opinion from a different pediatric dentist, and ask in advance if they do in-office conscious sedation. That is sort of an in-between step, not as extreme as GA, and is a pretty common practice, from what I know.

It sounds like the tooth has abscessed, and that's why the dentist recommended extraction? I have some experience with this, sadly. If the tooth has a deep cavity, and there is enough structure there, they may do the pulpotomy and place a crown, and hope that the tooth can survive to shed naturally. If the tooth gets infected though, called an abscess, it's really unlikely to heal and can infect the bones of the face, be pretty serious, etc. They might try antibiotics before pulling, but the prognosis is not good to save the tooth.

You can PM me if you like. There is also a Yahoo group called "veryyoungkidsteeth" that has lots of info about dental procedures for really young kids. Several dentists answer questions there. Good luck.

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