Please Help! 5 year old with first cavity - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 11-21-2013, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
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DS 1 who is 5.5, just had part of his 2nd to last bottom molars fall off.  inside, revealed a huge cavity.  Not yet to the root, but pretty close. he doesnt have pain when chewing or flossing thus far. Here are the options that the dentist described:


-baby root canal

-put calcium hydroxide? in and cover with stainless steel

-extraction, which she didnt recommend


after reading a couple of threads on here, im getting really worried about infection with the first two options and am wondering why the dentist doesnt recommend extraction.  money?  


my son is unvaccinated, has never had antibiotics or even tylenol.  i truly am worried about how his body might deal with antibiotics from infection and even the other chemicals they use to numb and fill and such.  


does anyone have any literature to sway me either way?  personal experience?


the other factor in this is that i just dont trust this dentist much.  it was our first visit with her, nothing bad happened, just her general demeanor etc.  im most likely going to get a second opinion, not because i dont believe what she says, but because i dont really want her working on my son.


ok, please help me figure out whats best!

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#2 of 5 Old 11-23-2013, 10:56 PM
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Anyone have any advice for this mama?
Sorry you have to make such a hard decision. Hugs
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#3 of 5 Old 11-23-2013, 11:55 PM
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I`m so sorry your son has a cavity. :(


My son has had numerous root canals starting from age 3. He has horrible teeth and even today his fillings randomly fall out. He had to have root canals because he was in a lot of pain from these teeth.


He is vaccinated and he`d had antibiotics before but I don`t remember getting antibiotics after fixing his teeth. I know it sounds painful to fix it but maybe it is the best option. I remember trying all sorts of things to prevent his teeth from decaying further and nothing really helped. His teeth kept getting worse and I wish I would have had them fixed before they got to be painful.


You can get a second opinion from a dentist you trust, but ultimately if his tooth is broken and there is a gaping cavity in it maybe it`s a good idea to get it fixed.


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#4 of 5 Old 11-24-2013, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply:) I know we have to take care of this tooth now, I'm just concerned about the best way to do that. It seems that many mamas her choose extraction over root canal. My friend who is a dental hygeintist says root canal. I have no clue what to do:( we're getting a second opinion but that's not fr another week and a half. Not sure how long his tooth can wait.

In the meantime, we're going to try to prevent any future cavities with info I'm reading about here. But now I'm also conflicted about whether or not topical fluoride in toothpaste and mouthwash is helpful or harmful. We haven't ever use any, so I'm wondering if it would've helped his teeth be stronger.
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#5 of 5 Old 11-24-2013, 08:15 PM
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My guess she didn't recommend extraction because they always do that as a last resort only.. if root canal fails or something.  They can't make money on a tooth that isn't there too so its possible money is a motivation but also could be other reason because he wouldn't get the new adult molar for another 7-8 years right? thats a long time to be without a crucial biting tooth.  Having said that I also have been missing a molar for many years (I opted for extraction for myself) and still able to eat, but mostly on the other side.


My son chipped a front tooth as a baby and we opted for extraction over the root canal.  He's 6 now and none have got loose yet so not sure how long it will be before the new one starts to come in but I do worry about if the new one will not come in straight because we opted for the extraction instead of the root canal.. the baby tooth helps guide the new one in the right place.  We'll see if they all come in good. They never said that might happen though its just something I read about.


Definitely get the 2nd opinion before you decide what to do since you've already decided this dentist won't do the work on your child... see what they say first about pros / cons of extracting the tooth.  I think its a long time for a child to be without a back molar since those teeth are so crucial to proper chewing. In your case I'd probably opt to keep the tooth but I wonder why a root canal is even necessary or mentioned.. If there is no pain a simple crown may suffice.. if its not infected it does not need a root canal...  he'd be in a lot of pain if it was abcessed.. thats the only time the tooth needs a root canal.... I have many crowns in my mouth, no root canals.. the crown can be made of many things, they recommend the metal for children since its cheap and will fall out in a few years but I'd personally only get the porcelain if I was able to as I'd be afraid of the metal leeching.


I'd probably crown the tooth in your situation (since it seems a filling is not an option) - get a 2nd opinion whether a root canal is necessary - it doesn't sound abcessed so a crown is likely best option if there isn't enough tooth left to support a filling.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." -Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
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