I’m not sure what to do. My daughter has some decay on her back molars. It’s extensive enough that her pediatric dentist thinks they need to be extracted. She’s only six years old. Is this normal?
I wouldn’t say normal, but it may be necessary. You don’t want the decay to turn into an infection. These are considered dental emergencies. If left untreated it could spread to her bone, affecting her adult teeth. Even worse, her jaw is close to her heart, lungs, and brain. That can turn life-threatening quickly.
Some dentists suggest doing a pulpotomy. This is a child’s version of a root canal treatment. It doesn’t always work and in many cases, it’s much simpler to just extract the baby molars. However, your dentist should have mentioned that she’d need space maintainers. Normally, childhood molars need to stay in place until at least twelve years of age when her permanent molars will come in.
Without that, her other teeth will tip or shift into the space before the permanent molars are ready to erupt. This will lead to crowding and a definite need for braces as she gets older. If her dentist didn’t mention a space maintainer. it is time to get a new pediatric dentist.
Keeping Calm During Pediatric Dental Work
Some children get nervous with unfamiliar procedures. Having teeth taking out may not be completely unfamiliar, but decay riddled teeth being removed by a dentist certainly is. If your daughter is the nervous type, you may want to consider using nitrous oxide. This is a mild gas that will relax her, allowing the local anesthetic to be more effective.
This is very safe and when the procedure is over, her dentist will simply switch the gas for nitrous to oxygen. In just a few moments she’ll be back to normal and ready to get on with her day.
This blog is brought to you by Hoffman Estates Dentist Dr. William Becker.