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Dental Issues With Baby Teeth

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My just turned 2-year old son was recently diagnosed with gluten intolerance. We went Gluten-free Casein-free immediately and so can't do further celiac testing. He definitely has at least DQ6 or DQ7, as I have both.

In six months since his last visit (mostly on gluten as we didn't know better), he has developed five cavities on his front teeth. He already has enamel issues on several teeth as well.

The recommendation is to put him under and fill them to the tune of $2000 or more. Dental insurance doesn't cover most of it and will not cover anesthesia. If we try to use health insurance for anesthesia at the hospital, I've been told to expect $5k to $10k plus an $800 uncovered dental travel fee. Our son is very tolerant of dental procedures now and let's them examine him without much issue.

Is it wise to put him through this and pay thousands on baby teeth? It almost seems unethical to me that a dentist gives you the option of either an anesthetist that doesn't take insurance (we're told the only choice) or going to one that does and charging a ridiculous fee. At the same time, I wonder what the health repercussions are for waiting a bit until he can sit through a filling.

Anyone been through kids' dental issues?

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My just turned 2-year old son was recently diagnosed with gluten intolerance. We went Gluten-free Casein-free immediately and so can't do further celiac testing. He definitely has at least DQ6 or DQ7, as I have both.

In six months since his last visit (mostly on gluten as we didn't know better), he has developed five cavities on his front teeth. He already has enamel issues on several teeth as well.

The recommendation is to put him under and fill them to the tune of $2000 or more. Dental insurance doesn't cover most of it and will not cover anesthesia. If we try to use health insurance for anesthesia at the hospital, I've been told to expect $5k to $10k plus an $800 uncovered dental travel fee. Our son is very tolerant of dental procedures now and let's them examine him without much issue.

Is it wise to put him through this and pay thousands on baby teeth? It almost seems unethical to me that a dentist gives you the option of either an anesthetist that doesn't take insurance (we're told the only choice) or going to one that does and charging a ridiculous fee. At the same time, I wonder what the health repercussions are for waiting a bit until he can sit through a filling.

Anyone been through kids' dental issues?

2 thoughts

Get the xrays and get a second opinion with a pediatric dentist

Get the xrays and go to the nearest dental school

What about laughing gas? About $75 an hour and very safe.

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They do laughing gas but said anesthesia would be more appropriate because he wouldn't sit through it. Does laughing gas not make you sit still?

I called about a second opinion and Delta won't even cover it without counting it as one of two annual exams. That was crazy to me. Will probably do anyway but geez ...

I don't think they took xrays. Dental school is a brilliant idea. Never thought of it.

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They do laughing gas but said anesthesia would be more appropriate because he wouldn't sit through it. Does laughing gas not make you sit still?

I called about a second opinion and Delta won't even cover it without counting it as one of two annual exams. That was crazy to me. Will probably do anyway but geez ...

I don't think they took xrays. Dental school is a brilliant idea. Never thought of it.

I have Delta, too. Dentists always take xrays of the teeth. delta pays for it. Sucks how they don't pay for pain manag ement, even in little kids.

Both my boys have had the gas. They were teens. One was mellow and enjoyed the floating feeling and fell asleep. The other kept having bad dreams & kicking and hitting. As he is 6 1 and 175 pounds, they had to wake him & explain it twice. Also, they could do 2 or 3 teeth at a visit.

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Wanted to add- maybe an older family or pediatric dentist would be more conservative. These are teeth that will fall out in 4 years.

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Ours is a pediatric dentist but doesn't do xrays until there is lessened space between teeth, usually 2.5 years. He is probably 45 or 50.

Guess I'm worried about teeth having to be pulled or an infection caused by delaying the fillings until he can sit still.

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My 6 year old son had four cavities in his 2 year molars and had to have them filled. He was between 2.5 years and 3 when he had the first two done. Our regular dentist was uneasy doing the fillings since he was so young so we were referred to a pediatric dentist. Their policy was to have the child go back alone. Not even an hour later he was ready to go. They told me they gave him the nitrous oxide(laughing gas), the cavities were very superficial and they didn't even give him a shot of novacaine and they filled just the bottom two cavities. He didn't see the need at that time to fill the top two cavities yet. At our next 6 month appointment our regular dentist felt the top two cavities needed taken care of. I was insistant that he did really well at the pedi dentist and really didn't want to drive to the next town. So I convinced her to do them and he was wonderful for them and I did send him back by himself. They too were able to fill both sides the same day as they didn't require any novacain shots. I was in agreement with the dentist on getting his filled since they were in his premolars and they will be some of the last teeth he will loose. He had not had any more cavities until just this past week. He just cut his lower 6 year molars and I knew that they didn't look right. I was told that the enamal is soft and weak and he already has a cavity in one. He also has a cavity in another baby tooth. I am going to get them filled next week. I am really hoping when he looses his front teeth that the permanant ones don't have the same problems. He is my child that went gluten free Nov. 2010 so there is already damage to the unerupted developing teeth.

My oldest has had to many cavities in his baby teeth to count. None on the front ones though. I have had all of those filled at the regular dentist. I felt that they need addressed to prevent further decay and potential problems such as pain, infection or decay affecting his permanant teeth. He was five when we found his first four cavities. So far he does have two pits in his front permanant bottom teeth, although I was told they were very superficial and otherwise his enamal is hard. He has two wite spots on two of his top permanant front teeth, but otherwise they are fine too. He is not gluten free, but very well may be by the end of next month (have a gi consult next week for him).

I would seek a second opinion as to other treatment options for your son. I would think that something less invasive could be done and still fill the cavities. He still will have those teeth for another 4-5 years. Not only are they needed for eating but I would think they will play a part in proper speach development also.

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We went through this with our middle child.

We did get a second opinion, and I am so glad we did.

The first dentist, like yours, told us that there were several cavities in the front teeth that needed to be addressed immediately or he would have severe problems with his secondary teeth, including more decay.

The second dentist looked, said, "hmmm, I see a lot of discoloration here...but it's not soft, it's hard. That means it's actually NOT decay. Did you have either antibiotics or iron supplements during pregnancy?" (I had BOTH.)

Apparently, those can both cause major discoloration that appears quite similar to decay.

The second dentist (to whom we will always be grateful) also told us that even if it HAD been decay, his recommendation would be to leave it alone--front baby teeth are the first to fall out, and he said in his 30 years of experience, he had never seen any child with decay in the front teeth have the secondary teeth affected, with the exception of kids who chewed sugary gum, constantly snacked on sticky-sweet snacks, and drank soda pop, milk drinks, or fruit juice instead of the recommended water.

What really makes me upset is that the first dentist KNEW that our older child had had some severe developmental issues following a major surgery. Although mortality rates for pediatric dental surgery are low, they do exist--there are cases every year where the child dies on the table, from the anesthesia.

According to the second dentist, that first dentist should have known that this was not decay; yet she was willing to put our child's life at risk for either cosmetic reasons (best case scenario) or for her own bank account (worst case scenario).

Our child's secondary teeth came in just fine. No problems whatsoever.

When you think about it, we are completely at the mercy of whatever dentist we see, unless we get a second opinion. They can tell us that we need all kinds of complicated interventions: fillings, crowns, implants, etc., and we don't have the education (unless we are dentists ourselves) to question or argue.

I still have 3 baby teeth myself. I decided to find a new dentist, after the one I'd been going to kept insisting that I needed to have them all pulled (I was having no problems with them) and implants put in instead.

I thought I'd found one I liked--but then he told me that he had to pull one because it was clearly infected (I had absolutely no symptoms). I didn't let him pull it, and saw yet another dentist, who told me that it was just fine.

I'm sure that dentists are all having a difficult time with the dental insurance companies, but that doesn't mean that they have the right to deceive like that.

It's another case of consumer, beware.

Please get a second, or if necessary, third opinion.

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I would also get a second opinion. I haven't had to deal with extensive cavities in my kids, but my daughter has had two dental procedures. She had baby teeth taken out two different times due to mouth crowding/orthodontics concerns. The first time the dentist was just going to use laughing gas. But my daughter was so anxious (at age 10) by the time we got back there, her dentist refused to do the procedure. (My kids' dentist tries to avoid anxiety as much as possible. She doesn't want her patients to grow up scared of going to the dentist). She had us come back the next day and gave my daughter oral demerol which made her really loopy and out of it. She didn't remember the procedure at all. I believe it's called conscious sedation. I think the equivalent drug for a younger child would be Versed. Not sure if it's applicable to your child's situation, but it's worth asking about. Your child has to fast for 12 hours, and the dentist's office has him drink it 30 minutes or so before the procedure. No need for an anesthesiologist.

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