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View Full Version : Dental fillings for a 4 year old


ajk912
05-27-2008, 01:41 PM
My 4 year old needs some minor dental work done. She has 8 small cavities (dentist's words, not mine). You know the space between the two top front teeth? She has one there, one on the tooth next to it, and some between her back molars. We aren't flossing well enough at all. :confused3 I am definitely going to get the molars done..she'll have those teeth till she is 10-12. But the front teeth? Those four front teeth? They are small cavities now, and even if they get worse (and I know they will) but at worst, she will lose those teeth in two years. I want to do the monitor and see approach instead of filling them right now. That's what we did with my older daughter (different dentist) and of course hers was 5 years ago- now it seems that they never do a "wait and see" anymore. :confused3 My older daughter's tooth ended up falling out, and we didn't need to spend the $100 (per tooth) to do a fix for a few years. WWYD? Anyone else deal with this? Obviously..I am fixing the molar cavities..that's going to be about $500- I am thinking of skipping the other $500 of work and just monitoring it every 6 months, instead. Of course, my dentist doesn't agree to that. Ugh.

sk!mom
05-27-2008, 01:54 PM
I would not leave cavities in my child's teeth for a short time and certainly not for up to two years.

rylousmom
05-27-2008, 02:47 PM
Sounds very similar to what I am going through. My just turned 5 year old has 6 teeth that need fillings and two others that we are watching. We were brushing and flossing but told that her teeth enamel are soft and there was really no way to prevent it. This is costing us a fortune to fix all these teeth but I was told that by not fixing them we could cause more damage and damage her adult teeth. So I am biting the bullet and hoping that fixing them now will also help her adult teeth. Good luck.

Maggie'sMom
05-27-2008, 02:53 PM
If she were a couple years older, then I might say it's okay to wait it out, but at 4, she has a ways to go before they fall out. They start to fall out at around 6-7 years old, and it can take until the child is 12 for all the teeth to be replaced by adult teeth. That's just too long to wait.

karliebug
05-27-2008, 05:11 PM
You definitely should take care of them now. If you wait, the decay can get worse and go down into the gums, affecting the pemanent teeth underneath.

ajk912
05-27-2008, 05:33 PM
Thanks. A friend of mine IRL who knows my daughter IRL says she wouldn't do it- she would fix the molars but not the teeth due to fall out when she is 5-6. So I started second guessing myself. I remember how we never did it for my middle child (we just didn't have the money, it was that or rent..guess what, rent wins, you know?) My middle child is now 7 and caught up on her dental work, though, but luckily those baby teeth that were an issue have long since fallen out! We are in a better financial place now, thankfully, for my youngest's teeth.

WantToGoNow
05-27-2008, 06:06 PM
I say get them fixed. My dd3 had a couple of cavities that I let go too long. She ended up hospitalized for 5 days with 2 absesses and had to have surgery to remove the teeth (they were molars).

DVCsince02
05-27-2008, 06:08 PM
This is my rule....

I will spend a fortune on two things for our kids, first their education.

Second, their teeth. I can't stand bad teeth. It's the first impression of you and people always remember a bad smile.

GrowingUpDisney
05-27-2008, 06:12 PM
My son had three cavities when he was 3. We got them fixed - no questions. Not just because it could cause problems down the road, but because it can be painful to have an untreated cavity. If you do not get them fixed, it could really cause problems - it isn't work the risk to me.

seashoreCM
05-27-2008, 07:29 PM
This is my rule....

I will spend a fortune on two things for our kids, first their education.

Second, their teeth. I can't stand bad teeth. It's the first impression of you and people always remember a bad smile.
You should put their teeth first, their education second.

1. A child is not ready to learn when he arrives at school if his teeth hurt.
2. Teeth get worse when you put off fixing them. Education can be postponed with no ill effect.

Millions of teeth can be saved if we stop buying soda pop, Cap'n Crunch, and doughnuts.

Disney hints (if there is any money and time left): http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/disney.htm

tazdev3225
05-27-2008, 08:37 PM
My DS had 2 or 3 small cavities when he was that age. The dentist we went to took a wait and see attitude. We watched them and took him to dentist every 6 months. Fortunately they stayed very small and he lost the teeth when he was 5. If they aren't really big you may be able to delay the fillings until the teeth fall out naturally. Of course if they get bigger or your child starts complaining of pain then you would have to fill them.

GrowingUpDisney
05-27-2008, 08:50 PM
You should put their teeth first, their education second.

1. A child is not ready to learn when he arrives at school if his teeth hurt.
2. Teeth get worse when you put off fixing them. Education can be postponed with no ill effect.

Millions of teeth can be saved if we stop buying soda pop, Cap'n Crunch, and doughnuts.
Disney hints (if there is any money and time left): http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/disney.htm

While I agree with the bolded statement - you do realize that is not the only cause of cavities? My son was hooked up to all kinds of things when he was born due to prematurity, not breathing at birth and seizures. Their dentist told me that it is highly likely the medications he was on during that time weakened his teeth and caused the cavities.

DawnM
05-27-2008, 08:55 PM
My son just turned 4. We have had 9 cavities filled. Well, we have had 7, his last set will be this week. Decay in baby teeth can cause problems with permenent teeth too.

Yes, we have spent a small fortune on his teeth.....around $1000 when all is said and done, but it IS worth it.

Dawn

DawnM
05-27-2008, 08:57 PM
Wow....well, my 4 year old has his 2 front teeth with large brown cavities in them. It has taken a while to get to them because his other cavities needed to be filled first. The dentist said the front teeth hurt more when the novicain is given and so they prefer to do them last.

But I am not doing this so that anyone can say they can now stand his smile.

Dawn

This is my rule....

I will spend a fortune on two things for our kids, first their education.

Second, their teeth. I can't stand bad teeth. It's the first impression of you and people always remember a bad smile.

mamita
05-27-2008, 09:16 PM
WOW!! I would have never even thought that a child could get so much cavities at 4!! I have two teens and a four year old and all of my kids get check ups twice a year from age two..sure it is expensive but I do belive that teeth are important...I mean to be honest two things you look at when you talk to someone are their eyes and mouth::yes::
my kids all had little baby teeth that were wide apart (yes..we are paying our orthodontists vacations):furious: but this was good because cavites can`t hide as well in wide spaces. but still, do get this fixed...a nice smile is important.:bitelip: ..I won`t get into the whole sugar and soda thing since only you know what your child`s diet is and we are not to judge. good luck!!:hug:

deedeetoo
05-27-2008, 09:19 PM
My initial thought is to get a second opinion. Once when I moved to a new part of the country, I went to a dentist that was recommended by people at work. He told me I had lots of cavities. I was shocked as I hadn't had any new cavities since I was a child. He also said my old cavities needed to be refilled. I talked to the people who recommended him and it seemed that everyone needed lots of dental work. I thought this sounded suspicious so instead of just going ahead with it, I went to a different dentist. This dentist found no problems with my teeth.

Since your older child had problems also, this could be hereditary. Some people just have weaker teeth than others. But I just want to give you something to think about.

disfan07
05-27-2008, 10:36 PM
Millions of teeth can be saved if we stop buying soda pop, Cap'n Crunch, and doughnuts.

Well, with that statement, i should have a lot of cavities right now
Its not just the kunk food though....even with healthy food, if you dont brush and floss properly you can still have problems
I love my soda....its the one thing i cannot give up but i brush adn floss everyday and at 19 i have NO cavities but i know people who dont eat a lot of sugar but have like 3 or 4 cavities
so yes...junk food contributes to cavities but there are definitley othe rthings to consider

bartleby1
05-28-2008, 07:50 AM
My oldest had 13 small cavities at the age of 4 when I first took her to the dentist. Our pediatric dentist doesn't use the drill and fill technique, he uses laser so they don't need any novicaine (sp?) and there is no pain involved. Also, using this technique, they don't need to drill away any healthy tooth in order to fill the cavity. We were told that leaving a cavity in her mouth for a substantial length of time was not a good option because cavities can spread to other teeth causing more problems.

She did have a few of the small cavities in her front four teeth that her dentist chose to not fill, however, they could tell on the x-rays that those teeth were ready to fall out. We couldn't even tell they were loose but he showed us how the root was separating. Sure enough, they fell out before she turned 5 (She lost her teeth very early). So, you might want to ask your dentist if they can see any signs of losing those teeth soon. That might make a difference in your decision. Some kids don't lose those front teeth until 7 or 8 and you wouldn't want to leave cavitites that long, but if it is only a few months it might be ok to leave them.

BTW, it is not just junk food that causes cavities. Even healthy food like fruits and veggies can get caught between teeth and cause cavities, especially if your child has crowded teeth. Our dentist told us that slow eating, grazing throughout the day, and heredity are larger factors in causing cavities than diet. Kids that sip juice (even watered down) throughout the day or snack throughout the day rather than eating a few larger meals tend to get more cavities because they are exposing their teeth to food or drink that cause cavities more often. Same thing with slow eaters. The longer the food has contact with your teeth, the more chance of cavities.

ETA: If you haven't had your child's molars sealed, you may want to ask your dentist about it. I know our insurance would not cover sealing baby teeth but we did it anyway since our oldest is prone to cavitites. Our insurance will cover sealing their permanent teeth though, so the 6 year molars and up do get covered. Sealing the teeth puts a protective coating on the chewing surface of the teeth.

Canadamom
05-28-2008, 01:13 PM
I work in a dental office as a dental assistant. One thing to consider is that if the cavities do get deeper to the point of causing pain, the teeth may not be able to be fixed with a simple filling. More extensive treatment (and therefore, more costly) may be needed or the teeth may even have to be removed. Just a thought. I know it can be a big decision.

ajk912
05-28-2008, 01:24 PM
Thanks guys. They are doing all 8 fillings in two treatments. I scheduled the first treatment for next Thursday. Wish us luck! They are going to do light sedation on her to calm her. I hope it goes well. :hug:

dogodisney
05-28-2008, 06:05 PM
Thanks guys. They are doing all 8 fillings in two treatments. I scheduled the first treatment for next Thursday. Wish us luck! They are going to do light sedation on her to calm her. I hope it goes well. :hug:

Best Wishes to both of you. :hug:

katieandallycat
05-28-2008, 07:34 PM
Just completed 12 cavities with my 9 year old DD. She is autistic and we had never managed to get her in the chair for even a cleaning. She did fantastic, borrowing her sister ipod so she can listen to HSM really help, as did holding a stuft animal. Think it really helped that we used a pediatric dentist and the dentist had planned on doing everything in 4 appt, with a few week in between. We went ahead and did the nitrious so she didn't have to have any injections and they were able to complete everything in 2 visits. Insurance normally doesn't cover the nitrious, but they put a note on the ins form that they used it do to her autism and they ended up paying 80%. We do have good insurance, but they will only cover 80% of the cost of amalgam fillings and her dentist only does composite. So even with the insurance it was over $700.
I used to work in the front office of a dental office, so I knew we had to get these teeth filled. Also at 9 she has only lost 8 teeth. Each tooth takes 5-6 mos to come in. She lost her first tooth at 7.5, so figured she will have the remaining teeth for a while