Can you tell me why my dentist wants to fill a baby tooth? My son has a cavity on one of his back teeth, but this isn’t his adult tooth. As it is just going to fall out anyway, why should I spend this money and put him through the procedure?
Nobody wants unnecessary medical or dental procedures so I completely understand your question. While some baby teeth will start to fall out soon, his back molars need to stay in until he is around 12 years of age. You don’t want this cavity to turn into a dental infection. A simple cavity is easy to treat, with little trauma. If the tooth gets infected, you will need a child’s version of a root canal treatment, called a pulpotomy.
In most cases, you will want to prepare ahead of time and possibly even arrange to have oral conscious sedation used during this procedure, so he is as comfortable as possible. If you let the tooth go, it could go downhill fast, which will mean a dental emergency. In that case, oral conscious sedation may not be an option for him which would make the appointment more traumatic for him.
What If He Loses This Tooth?
Another problem with letting the decay continue is that the tooth may become unsaveable. If that happens and it has to be extracted, you will need your pediatric dentist to place a space maintainer in that spot. This will prevent the other teeth from shifting and tipping into that spot.
Without that, the other teeth will drift. This will mean there is not correct placement left for his twelve-year-old molars and will lead to crowding. Crowding means crooked teeth and expensive orthodontics.
A little prevention now by getting this tooth filled can save you and your son a lot of expense and hassle.
This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.