Fillings in baby teeth-necessary and cost?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 08-04-2011, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
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What have other people's dentists recommended and what have you done for a cavity in a baby tooth? My just turned 6yo's dentist called to tell me we need FOUR appts for FOUR different cavities. I don't know the details as it was the secretary and I have not seen the xrays. She said they are in the back and are baby teeth. She quoted me $250 per tooth so $1000 for all 4 fillings. Does that seem high? his cleaning-the hygenist told me they couldn't do sealants on his 6yo molars because he is so sensitive and has a significant gag reflex. She kept telling him to breathe through his nose but mind you he has oral motor issues for which he go to speech for and that is in his chart so asking him to do this was not like asking any child. YET....they think they can fill 4 cavities. AND....he was crying and nervous at his appt as well. We go to a pediatric dentist. I need to do more research on all of this and thought I'd start here with all you MOm.s

One other thing: they want to use SILVER know the kind full of mercury.....I know for sure that won't be happening.

These cavities were only visible from xrays and do not cause pain. I really need more info and to see the xrays but I need to start my research now. HELP.

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#2 of 6 Old 08-04-2011, 11:37 AM
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I just learned that my 5yo has two cavities that need filled.   Apparently, cavities between the back baby teeth molars are very common because, in most kids, the teeth are super, super tight.  I was very shocked DS had cavities as we are "in" to teeth in our house and he brushes his teeth 3 times a day, very little sugar, no candy, no sweet drinks, etc.


Our regular dentist said he would do the filings but strongly recommended taking DS to a pedi dentist. (I balked at the cost as well as horror stories from other moms) He philosphy is pedi dentists have more tools in their bag, so to speak, to work with kids such as behavioral techniques, relaxants, movies, toys, etc. and that often one bad dentist experience sticks with people for life.  He bluntly said "you can afford it, can't you? so just do it to ensure he has the best possible experience." 


You are going to pedi dentist now?  He/She should be able to work with any gag or other issues. 


So far, we have spent $110 for the first pedi dentist visit.  The quote to get two little side-by-side cavities filled with white filings+novicane+laughing gas is $345.  Both dentists said they must be filed because he could have these teeth until 12 yo and the decay will continue.  So it will be $227.50 per cavity.


The pedi dentist said DS's were small enough that he could use the white filings.  Maybe they want to use metal because of cost?  I think the silver ones are cheaper.




Mom to DS, born fall 05 after ,,, wife/best friend to DH We have
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#3 of 6 Old 08-04-2011, 03:42 PM
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Just a suggestion.. if you don't have dental insurance (Ours is insanely expensive with really no benefit) check out Aetna Vital Savings. I bought coverage this year because I thought I was getting my wisdom tooth out (got pregnant, so I ended up not doing it yet).. and it covered more than half of my check up, xray, etc. Great deal for like 70 a year!

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#4 of 6 Old 08-05-2011, 05:18 AM
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I don't think the quote they gave you sounds high.  Seems normal to me (we've got dental insurance, but I read the Explanation Of Benefits).  And our pediatric dentist won't schedule a child for more than a 45 minute appointment b/c that's about as long as a youngster can handle being in the chair/keeping his mouth open.


My DS also had cavities in his back molars (one on each side).  When he was 5yo, DH took him in to get the first one worked on (we started him off at a pediatric dentist b/c that's what I ended up with when I was a kid,and we wanted to skip the middle step).  DS sailed through the drilling, filling, and crowning with few issues.  We both took him in for the next appointment, and it was miserable for everyone, even with the nitrous oxide (DS was crying too much to inhale it).  DS has some sensory processing issues, though, as well as anxiety (gags during regular dental checkups; he hasn't been able to tolerate the bite wings in his mouth, so no Xrays for him yet). We combat the sound of the drill and suction by putting big headphones over his ears and playing music he likes.  We have him wear sunglasses to block the bright exam light.  However, there was nothing we could do about the feel of the cold water on his super sensitive tooth.  They cranked the nitrous as high as they could safely go, they administered extra novocaine...they did what they could (drilled out the cavity, reduced the tooth size in preparation for the crown, and put in a temporary filling).  And they referred us to a different dentist who uses different drugs.


This other dentist met with us and DS, and had a hard enough time getting DS to open his mouth so he could see his tooth.  He was a cool guy, but he told us DS was a bad candidate for this other procedure b/c of his existing high levels of anxiety and that DS had already had a very negative experience (and whatever it was, sorry I can't recall right now, it doesn't work for everyone anyway).  And since it was only one tooth, it wasn't worth the expense or hassle/risk to have DS put under.


So at DS's last dental checkup, the dentist noticed the temporary filling was loose (as in, she touched it with her metal hook and it broke off).  They were able to apply a new temporary filling right there, in about 5 minutes (no drilling involved).  Trauma free.


I still do all DS's brushing and flossing, every morning and every night, and I'm basically keeping my fingers crossed that we can make it another six years without any more cavities in those molars.  Surface cavities don't start out as a big deal, but they can quickly become worse.  The deeper they penetrate, the longer they take to drill and fill; if left untreated for too long, they'll eventually require a root canal.  Now, my DH just had a root canal (after several days of extreme pain), and he said his root canal was actually better than some of his drill/fill experiences; however, root canals are way more expensive (around $1,000).  So that's some incentive for you to get these cavities treated sooner rather than later.  I will also say, though, that the older DS gets, the more self-control he gains (and the more SI therapy he's gotten), so he does seem to be growing (slowly) out of some of his issues.

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#5 of 6 Old 08-05-2011, 05:40 AM
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Moving to Dental :) 

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#6 of 6 Old 08-05-2011, 07:55 PM
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I love our dentist, so it could be a matter of finding a new one.  For 6yo's some teeth are close to coming out.  My 4.5 will have a filling done on her front tooth because it hurts.  Back teeth won't come out for a while, long after the front.  If they are causing pain, that could be an issue.

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