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  1. #1
    TLC1994 is offline Silver level (200+ posts)
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    Default My 5 yr. old has 8 cavities!!

    Yikes! My daughter went for a check-up today since she was complaining of tooth pain. The dentist said she had 8 cavities all in her molars and they all need to be filled.

    I was talking with my SIL this evening and she said that her dentist has more of a "wait and see" attitude toward cavities. He watched them for a while and if they weren't getting any bigger, he didn't do anything about them. (This is HER dentist - not her child's.)

    Does that sound right? I always thought a cavity needs to be filled, regardless of the size. Now I'm just second guessing everything that I was told today and hope that this dentist was being truthful with me and not just out for $$$.

    Anyway, the dentist just fixed the largest of the cavities today - the one that was causing the pain. We have an appointment next week to get the rest fixed. Maybe I should go and get a 2nd opinion?

    Thanks for the input.

  2. #2
    maestramommy's Avatar
    maestramommy is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    Default RE: My 5 yr. old has 8 cavities!!

    I've heard that some dentists do have a "wait and see" attitude, because baby teeth will eventually fall out. However, your dd has them in her molars, which won't fall out for a while. Maybe that's why the dentist wants to fill them now?
    Melinda
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  3. #3
    Momof3Labs is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    Default RE: My 5 yr. old has 8 cavities!!

    my dad is a dentist, and believes in filling cavities rather than letting them go (otherwise you risk the painful situation your dd is in now).
    Single mom to

    DS ("twice exceptional") - September 2002
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    DD - July 2009

  4. #4
    KBecks is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Default RE: My 5 yr. old has 8 cavities!!

    you know, i know a 5 yo who had a root canal!

    apparently she had candy in her room that she was eating in the middle of the night.

    I think it's crazy that this can happen, and it worries me that we may not be brushing well enough.0.
    Karen, mom to three beautiful boys, 10/2004, 7/2006 and 10/2008!
    trying to spend less time online, doh!


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  5. #5
    JBaxter's Avatar
    JBaxter is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Default RE: My 5 yr. old has 8 cavities!!

    I would get them fixed if it was my child. She will keep those molars for another 5yrs and they will most probably get worse and cause her more pain. Fillings are less traumatic then an extraction. If they tooth gets infected it is harder to get numb and if it totally numb it is uncomfortable at any age to have a tooth pulled by a dentist.
    The reason why they want to save the baby teeth especially the molars is because they save the space for the adult premolars to come in. At about 6 she will get her first permanent molars they will be behind the baby molars she has now. If the space is open (from an extraction) then the 1st permanent molar will slide forward and could block the premolar from erupting in the proper space.

    FYI I am a hygienist but havent worked in 3yrs since Nathan as born. Both of my older boys did have decay at a young age ( probably 6-7 and I did get them fixed). My 11 yr old just lost one of his baby molars last week so they will be around for a few more years.
    Jeana, Momma to 4 fantastic sons

    Everything happens for a reason, sometimes the reason is you're stupid and make bad decisions.
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  6. #6
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    Default RE: My 5 yr. old has 8 cavities!!

    I would get them filled.

    My old dentist had a wait and see attitude and after we moved, my new dentist has had to do a BUNCH of work on my mouth, because those little cavities had ALL gotten bigger! :P
    ~~AngelaS~~
    Mommy to 3 girls: A, G and M. (15, 11 and 8.5)

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    Karl Marx, "The Communist Manifesto"

  7. #7
    tarynsmum is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Default RE: My 5 yr. old has 8 cavities!!

    My niece (the candy fiend: this is the kid who, when everyone else in kindergarden drew pictures that said "I love my mommy", etc, drew a picture and wrote "I love candy") had 6 cavities last year (right before she turned 6). We ended up with a half and half wait and see. The ones that bothered her (that hurt, there were 2 or 3, I can't remember now) we had filled, and the others we just waited. They'd fall out soon enough (and 2 of them already have).
    Heather, mommy to Taryn, January 16, 2006. And Baby Asher! Born February 25, 2009.

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  8. #8
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    Default RE: My 5 yr. old has 8 cavities!!

    My best friend is a ped. dentist and I have worked with her numerous times, she would never 'wait and see" on a child that age with a cavities. And as the pp said we have done root canals on children that age. I would certainly have it taken care of and not wait if it was my DD. Now my friend uses sedation with kids that young and will do all the cavaties on one side then at another visit do that cavities on the other side of the mouth in her office. If the cavaties are too big we take them to the operating room, but them to sleep and do all the teeth at one time. I know it sounds really scary ( and i'm not trying to scare you just give you some info).
    My one suggestion would be, if you don't already take your DC to a pediatric dentist and not a regular dentist. Some regular dentists in my opinion are pretty lax about baby teeth thinking "hey what they heck they are going to fall out anyways" yes that is the case but think about how old they are when molars fall out, i wouldn't want a baby tooth to get infected then have to be pulled out, they need those molars to chew with.
    o.k. i've rambled enough LOL....

    Heidi
    Mom to Jillian 10/20/05

  9. #9
    TLC1994 is offline Silver level (200+ posts)
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    Default RE: My 5 yr. old has 8 cavities!!

    Thank you all for your input!!

    My DD did not see a ped. dentist yesterday, but a regular/family dentist. This dentist was NOT telling me to wait & see. She WANTS to fill them all since they are in the molars and won't be coming out for some years. They took care of the biggest cavity yesterday (it was between 2 molars and was pretty big & was causing pain). The rest are to be filled next week.

    It was my SIL that told me about her dentist that has that "wait & see" attitude. I was just wondering if other dentists had that same conservative attitude. I guess it just made me wonder if this dentist was just out to make some $$$ or if she was sincere. I had to doubt people and honestly I probably wouldn't have even thought about it had it not been for my conversation with my SIL.

    Also - has anyone had their dentist just look into your/your kid's mouth and say "I see X amount of cavities?" Then she verified that with the Xray & exam. Just wondering if that was relatively normal.

    Thanks again to everyone!!

  10. #10
    JBaxter's Avatar
    JBaxter is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Default RE: My 5 yr. old has 8 cavities!!

    Diagnosing a cavity by site all depends on where the decay is on the tooth. Sounds like the decay was ( at least partially) on the chewing serface of her teeth. Sometimes you can tell there is interproximal decay by looking but not ususally . It sounds like your dentist is right on the mark with fixing them.

    Did she do ok with the filling?

    Jeana, Momma to 4 fantastic sons

    Everything happens for a reason, sometimes the reason is you're stupid and make bad decisions.
    {My favorite postcard that was posted on facebook}
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