Why go through possible trauma? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 03-15-2013, 03:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My 26 month old has some quickly developing cavities on her 4 front teeth, all the rest of her teeth and gums are in great shape.  The dentist (and us) believes she simply has poor enamel on those 4 teeth.  We are fastidious about dental health and food and nutrition, and we are confident that nutrition-wise she is as healthy as can be.  We are under dental care, she is comfortable with her dentist and laid back and lets them examine and clean her teeth - as long as they let her up when she wants to get up. We have been given options - fillings and caps (at least an hour under general anesthesia), temporary fillings (more anesthesia), or monitor, maintain her health, and if issues develop, pull baby teeth. 

 

I'm wondering why more people don't go for that last option?  Is it because cavities are ugly?  Is it because of fear that infection will develop so fast that they won't get to the dentist in time?  We are completely against cosmetic dentistry in a child especially after reading about needing 4 people needed to hold a terrified child down.  Or at least an hour under general anesthesia to 'repair' baby teeth and make them look better.  I'm trying not to be snarky - I've received some bad advice and people seem particularly passionate about this topic (rightfully so), and it breaks may heart to read about families so sad that their little ones have had dental trauma because of a perceived need for dental work.  Don't get me wrong - if my little one develops pain or has problems beyond her teeth looking bad, she will be back at the dentist.  I will not risk her health - but I think general anesthesia and being held down by big people while having your teeth worked on also risks her health.  The dentist told us that pulling is a quick, quickly recovered procedure that is a reasonable option, if we need to.

 

Please share any experience you have that can help us know if we really should actually get those fillings.  Or has anyone just let them be, lived with cavities until baby teeth fell out or pulled them?  


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#2 of 9 Old 03-15-2013, 09:28 AM
 
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We had to hold my eldest down when she got a filling at around 3 years old. It seemed traumatic to her, but immediately afterwards she was totally fine, and never mentioned the experience, and is not afraid to go to the Dentist. I'm not a huge fan of having to do that, but you have to weigh it out. I know a lot more now than I did then, and if I had to do it over again, I'd probably hold off and try to heal the tooth as I'm doing now with my youngest. But I don't really have regrets about it, as she's fine.


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#3 of 9 Old 03-15-2013, 10:34 AM
 
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Subbing. I want to know, too!


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#4 of 9 Old 03-15-2013, 01:08 PM
 
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We have genetic issues in our family....two of my children ended up with the exact same decay trouble as two of my SIL's as well as one of THEIR daughters.

With DD1, we started out trying supplements and stuff (we had already been taking great care of her teeth from birth so it was just a matter of adding to that routine) but our ped. dentist was pretty pushy about getting them taken care of (using a lot of "it could damage her permanent teeth underneath" and "it could start to cause her a lot of pain") and we ended up doing the oral surgery under general and paying $6000 OOP.

My DD2 has great teeth (same care we gave DD1, just never lucked out with the genes I guess). DS appeared to have great teeth for his first 11 months but he was born lacking good gut and oral flora so was pretty sensitive to changes, and after one incident his teeth went "soft" and sure enough, same dental issues appeared. However, we are healing his naturally. I wanted to have the ped. dentist just LOOK at them when it started but he didn't even bother and just gave me a schpeel on candies and juice an stuff, which isn't even an issue in our house...needless to say we haven't been back since!!!

Honestly, it is hard either way. It is easy for me to say I would rather do it this way, but in practice it isn't so simple. DD1's surgery and the stress if it all (before, during, and after) felt like it took years off my life and wasn't a pleasant time. But it did get it over with and her teeth have been beautiful and strong ever since. I feel so much better about not putting DS under GA for a "quick fix", but I gotta say it is almost just as stressful to be completey responsible for trying to get on top of it myself and seeing VERY slow- if any- improvements. (Though I also don't see them getting worse, either, and i will take that!). There is a lot of judgement about what we feed them and how I care for their teeth since his issues are so visible (although looks don't bother me as long as his teeth are strong and healthy outside of the decay, and they don't bother him at all) and that is hard, too. But I think it is mostly the years of constant TLC that wear on me, as does the thought of all this work and still failing and needing them pullled. Even if we could have the surgery done for free instead of $6K I would still choose this natural route, but having it said and done with surgery (even though I don't agree with a lot surrounding the process or consider it to be a "healthy" option) did have that advantage. It may have been the ONLY advantage, and like I said I still wouldn't choose it again, but some days the natural route feels pretty darn discouraging too.

So anyway, those are just my thoughts based on both of my experiences.

Me (27) DH (30)...9 Years

DD (7) ~ DD (4) ~ DS (3)

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#5 of 9 Old 03-15-2013, 06:33 PM
 
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My family is in a very similar situation! My daughter is 25 months old, and has cavities in her four front teeth resulting from a recently diagnosed lip-tie. She also fell and, possibly because of the cavity damage, broke her left front tooth. I was really at a complete loss as to why the cavities were even developing before the lip-tie diagnosis. We have a very, very healthy primal-esque diet, lots of exercise and she has only been sick once since birth.

 

When we went to the dentist, they gave us the same options. Her cavities and the broken tooth seem to cause her little to no pain, but the dentist still recommended they be A) root canal + capped with ceramic B) pulled or C) just wait and prevent further damage. We chose C, and we are looking into getting her upper lip-tie revised soon to prevent further damage.

 

Of course, if she develops a lot of pain or infection, we will have them pulled immediately. Aside from that, I see no harm in using a few home remedies to prevent decay and waiting. At this point, if we decided to have them capped it would strictly be for cosmetic reasons, which I feel is unnecessary.
 

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#6 of 9 Old 03-15-2013, 08:17 PM
 
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Thanks for sharing your stories!

 

lbabysmom, although (obviously) I don't like that your DC's have had so much trouble, it's good to hear the 2 different approaches (and your feelings about them).

 

herballybaby, can I ask you how bad your DD's lip tie is? DS has one, but it attaches just above his teeth (no gap b/t his teeth), so it doesn't seem bad... and we are able to nurse ok. I'm still trying to figure out what to do about it (he also has a minor? tounge-tie). DH thinks I'm being overly paranoid about that (and maybe I am), but I'd like to give him the best chance at having healthy teeth.

 

I'm glad to hear about dentist's that are ok with a wait and see option. I've only taken DS to one dentist, but he was very much "Let's see him back in 6 mo and sch. a surgery"..ugh!


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#7 of 9 Old 03-16-2013, 04:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone for sharing.  This is so hard.  I don't want my little one to have any pain, but I also don't want her to undergo unnecessary medical procedures.  Herballybaby, how long since you made the decision to wait?  Can you keep us updated on how your little one is doing? It's good to hear that there are parents choosing the 'wait-and-see' route.  It feels like the right decision, but that fear is still there.

 

1babysmom - Since you also have the genetic factor, do you feel anything you are doing is helping?  I feel at such a loss, we really are doing everything, except surgery, but her teeth are still bad.  But that is probably a topic for another post.  smile.gif  

 

If you did choose general anesthesia, what was recovery like?  


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#8 of 9 Old 03-16-2013, 11:21 AM
 
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If you really want to know what dental needs your kids have - needs, not cosmetic, not unnecessary, not extra profit making procedures- go to a *good* dentist that takes Mediciad. These dentists (the good ones anyway) will do only what is absolutely necessary, will not offer expensive fixes, and will tell you about every lifestyle change that might help that is possible. They do not get paid by medicaid for much, so if they think its needed, it's probably pretty critical. For big issues, they are most likely to tell you every possible option. You don't need Mediciad, the dentists that serve the program tend to be this way with their other patients too, especially if you ask for low cost options.

DS jumped headfirst into a bathtub and broke his two front teeth when he was 18mo. I knew nothing about teeth, so I took him in to the OHP/Mediciad dentist. I was told the best thing is to watch and wait, clean them well, brush a lot. That was it. If they began to hurt his lips (they are kinda sharp), he could file the sharp parts, but that was considered a last resort. No talk of cosmetic fixes. It's been over a year and they look fine.

I also had dark places on some teeth, and instead of filling them (they weren't yet cavities, but sure looked like them), he gave me xylitol toothpaste and taught me to brush better. Years later, still no cavities. You *can* heal pre-cavities, they look exactly like cavities, but have not progressed as far. Once the enamel is destroyed, they do need filled, but much of what people notice are not cavities yet.
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#9 of 9 Old 03-16-2013, 11:21 AM
 
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If you really want to know what dental needs your kids have - needs, not cosmetic, not unnecessary, not extra profit making procedures- go to a *good* dentist that takes Mediciad. These dentists (the good ones anyway) will do only what is absolutely necessary, will not offer expensive fixes, and will tell you about every lifestyle change that might help that is possible. They do not get paid by medicaid for much, so if they think its needed, it's probably pretty critical. For big issues, they are most likely to tell you every possible option. You don't need Mediciad, the dentists that serve the program tend to be this way with their other patients too, especially if you ask for low cost options.

DS jumped headfirst into a bathtub and broke his two front teeth when he was 18mo. I knew nothing about teeth, so I took him in to the OHP/Mediciad dentist. I was told the best thing is to watch and wait, clean them well, brush a lot. That was it. If they began to hurt his lips (they are kinda sharp), he could file the sharp parts, but that was considered a last resort. No talk of cosmetic fixes. It's been over a year and they look fine.

I also had dark places on some teeth, and instead of filling them (they weren't yet cavities, but sure looked like them), he gave me xylitol toothpaste and taught me to brush better. Years later, still no cavities. You *can* heal pre-cavities, they look exactly like cavities, but have not progressed as far. Once the enamel is destroyed, they do need filled, but much of what people notice are not cavities yet.
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