My daughter has extensive decay on a baby molar and my dentist is recommended it be extracted. Is this normal? Why not do a root canal?
You didn’t mention how old your daughter was. While most baby teeth can be extracted without too much trouble as a result, baby molars are a tad different. They have to remain in place until your child is around twelve years old. Because of that, extracting them is a big deal.
However, if there is extensive decay, it may be the only option. There is a child’s version of a root canal treatment, known as a pulpotomy, but it rarely works. Depending on the amount of decay it may be pointless to even try.
When a baby molar is extracted, your pediatric dentist will need to put in place a space maintainer. This will hold the space open until her twelve year old molars come in. Without that, the other teeth will shift, leading to crowding on the adult teeth. When that happens, you are looking at orthodontics to correct the problem. Making sure there is a space maintainer can save you quite a bit of money in the long run.
Extensive Decay in Children
When there is extensive decay in children’s teeth, it is helpful to find the culprit. Even though many children are responsible and obedient and brush their teeth when their parents tell them to, it doesn’t mean they are effective at it. Depending on their age, they may need you to follow up and do it after them.
Sometimes, they rush their brushing. There are great phone apps to help children get all the areas of their mouth for the appropriate amount of time.
Back teeth have lots of crevices in them, so getting sealants on them can help prevent decay from reaching those tough to clean places.
If all that is being attended to and there is still extensive decay, it may be due to their diet. If they snack a lot or have a lot of juice or sugary drinks it is very likely to lead to decay. Make sure they’re drinking more water than juice, even healthy citrus juices.
This blog is brought to you by Fountain Valley Dentist Dr. Tammy Tran.