My DS has an infected nerve in his tooth (he's 8). It's on a tooth that got filled this past summer--his first cavity. The dentist took out the filling to see what the problem was, but the tooth was totally clean underneath. She drilled a little further in the tooth to see what was going on and, sure enough, there was infection under there.
I expected her to recommend a root canal or an extraction, but she said she would suggest just leaving it open like that to drain and then wait and see what happens, that this is generally the procedure for baby teeth, and that as long as the infection clears up then we should leave it like that until it falls out. It's a molar, which means it could be another 4 years until that happens (my ds didn't start losing his teeth until he was 7 1/2, so I expect him to lose teeth a little later than normal).
Has anyone else ever had a dentist recommend such a thing? I am not living in the U.S. currently and they do things a little different here (Eastern Europe) and I'm nervous.
The first part of your story sounds similar to a cavity DS had filled last year (at 9 years of age) EXCEPT the dentist put a crown on it. My kids also get/lose teeth late so the dentist was aware this tooth would probably be there for a few more years.
If the tooth has been drilled, doesn't it basically have no enamel protecting the inner portion any more? I really don't know, but that would concern me.
It almost sounds as if she did what is called a "open and broach" procedure. That is when there is infection and they do a mini root canal to drain the infection. But then it is usually closed with a temp filling until it is decided what is next.
I am really surprised she didn't put anything in the exposed tooth and or pulp to sooth or protect from any more bacteria to enter.
Using cotton with clove can help if there is any sensitivity. Also oregano is good to keep it clean.
Yes, that's what is weird to me as well--it's just an open hole I understand the logic between waiting to let the infection drain, but after that I assumed it would need to be covered somehow. So you are saying that your dentist didn't do a root canal either? Just left it to drain and then capped it?
No. It is most common to cover the exposed tooth an or pulp with a temp filling. In most cases, after the tooth is opened, it is almost immediate relief. Not usually left open to drain, that is what the procedure of opening it up provides instantly. Make sense?
In my experience working as an assistant, we would fill the exposed tooth with material of choice and then temp cap the tooth if a root canal was not necessary. My most recent DDS I worked for was holistic. He preferred to extract the tooth and would place a space maintainer in a LO, didn't believe in root canals. It essentially is a rotting dead tooth in the head.