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4 year old root canal!!

(20 Posts)
pipppopin Sun 14-Aug-16 20:22:14

My four year old ds went to the dentist this morning. I had noticed a small cavity in an upper baby tooth molar which turns out to be very deep. The dentist has told us that he needs a root canal. At the age of four! shockWe discussed treatment options & I believe that sedation under general anaesthetic is best option for him. Thought we were doing ok with tooth brushing so feeling crappy with guilt about this &anxious as hell about putting him under. Any Mums had experience of baby root canals?? I didn't even know this was a thing! hmm

MeganChips Sun 14-Aug-16 20:26:25

Why would they do that on a baby tooth? Can't they just pull it?

It just seems like unnecessary treatment to me.

LIZS Sun 14-Aug-16 20:27:28

I didn't think most first teeth had any roots to fill.

legotits Sun 14-Aug-16 20:28:06


I didn't realise they did this so young.
I've had a few and if I could I would have GA

BusStopBetty Sun 14-Aug-16 20:30:43

Can you get a second opinion? I wouldn't put a child under a GA to fix a baby tooth if there was a better option, and I'd quite likely choose pulling it as a better option.

heavenlypink Sun 14-Aug-16 20:43:21

I'd be wanting a second opinion from a dentist specialising in paediatric dental health. I'd never heard of it till now, though is appears to be something that is considered these days. What exactly are the benefits to doing root canal as appeared to pulling the tooth? Has this been explained to you?

sooperdooper Sun 14-Aug-16 20:47:00

I think that sounds crazy, surely they should pull it out not do a root canal!! Get a second opinion, I don't trust that at all

jammh Sun 14-Aug-16 20:47:41

My dentist told me they prefer not to pull baby teeth unless no other option as the gap then closes leaving no space for the adult tooth to come. But I also thought that baby teeth have vey little root. Unless you have known and trusted your dentist for years, I would get a second opinion. Unscrupulous dentists are not unknown to recommend over the top treatment for the profit sad

Ds1 has many fillings - youngest was at 4 (though not root canal) and I know the feeling of shame and guilt of having a child needing dental work at that age. Ds tooth probs come from having to take meds 5 times a day for his first year, but that knowledge doesn't really assuage the guilt. Also apparently some people just have weak teeth regardless of how little sweets or how well they brush. Go easy on yourself on that front flowers

reallybadidea Sun 14-Aug-16 20:51:12

DD was offered this when she was 5. I have a close friend who is a maxillofacial surgeon who said in his opinion it would be a waste of time and potentially traumatizing. He recommended just extracting it under a very quick GA, which is indeed what we opted for. She was out trick or treating that evening (it was Halloween!) I'd get a second opinion if you can.

WyldFyre Sun 14-Aug-16 20:58:22

I asked my aunt, who is a professor of dental health specialising in decay. She said not every tooth or every four year old would be a suitable candidate and that it would be a root canal "of sorts" but that baby teeth should be as valued as adult teeth.

pipppopin Sun 14-Aug-16 21:29:16

I will be getting a second opinion as soon as poss. My no1 concern is balancing the risk of a general anaesthetic for a relatively minor issue against traumatising my ds in the dentists chair by getting treatment/extraction without sedation (he's dramatic at best of times) I suffered years of shoddy agonising dentistry from childhood to teens. Really want to avoid any of that for our boy grin( if only my teeth looked like the emojie's)

iminshock Sun 14-Aug-16 21:42:34

Yes baby teeth have roots !

When they fall out naturally and appear rootless it is because the succeeding adult tooth has resorbed the baby tooth root as it emerges .

The reason for conserving them is they maintain the space for the first adult molars which come through at around age 6. If the baby molars are lost early the adult first molars drift forwards and create space issues for the adult teeth - which might necessitate extraction of adult teeth later down the line.

And if your child needs a GA for the proposed treatment he would need it for an extraction as well. Your dentist sounds very conscientious .

It's not the same as an adult root canal , it's much easier to do .
It will be either a pulpotomy or a pulpectomy ( ask dr Googlegrin)

omri Sun 14-Aug-16 23:23:37

I'm in the same boat op. My ds (just turned 5) has a very rotten bottom molar. The guilt is enormous- but it seems an awful lot of kids don't form strong or any enamel. He often had raisins in his porridge every morning and that alone could have been the cause. We have a healthy diet in our house. We went private to a paediatric dentist who suggested root canal or extraction. Both would be done under GA. it's terrifying.

We have opted just to get it removed. She said root canal is only 65% chance of total success. Problem with extraction though is the spacing of the adult teeth coming up - but could be sorted with braces, which you could need anyway...

We have to do it under GA as ds is not at all compliant even for a check up!

heavenlypink Sun 14-Aug-16 23:36:17

OMRI DS had a too the removed as a baby (is was imbedded in a 'lump' he was born with) We had regular checkups with the paediatric team at the dental hospital to keep an eye on how his teeth came in. It was thought at one point he might need a brace but this wasn't the case.

omri Sun 14-Aug-16 23:57:39

Thanks heavenly! That's reassuring.
How old is he now?

heavenlypink Mon 15-Aug-16 08:23:51

He's almost 20 confused (where does the time go!) and has lovely teeth grin If my memory is right the tooth above the bottom molar was 'stubborn' and was the last to come out. At one point they thought they may have to surgically remove it even though it wasn't loose. I can't recall if this was a related factor or just him. I think he did loose his teeth in a strange order too.

omri Mon 15-Aug-16 08:28:11

Thanks grin
Dentist said it had no bearing on his adult teeth which would more than likely come up healthier than his weak baby teeth.

pipppopin Fri 26-Aug-16 20:06:43

Update: we took my daughter to a wonderful paediatric dentist who did a pulpectomy using nitrous oxide as sedation. Peppa Pig was playing on a screen above her head, the little gas mask smelled of strawberry, daughter was relaxed throughout. No distress at all & came away having had an hour of fun & attention from the dentist & nurse. Not cheap but worth every penny. With the exception of the back molar, her teeth are in good condition so feeling less crappy about things. Dentist gave a great tip for brushing with young kids - lie them down & brush. You can see what your doing & easier to control the wrigglesgringrin

legotits Fri 26-Aug-16 20:09:39

Excellent news
Feel better soon YoungPip smile

AnotherTimeMaybe Fri 26-Aug-16 20:31:02

Brilliant news! Give us his details if you can for future reference X

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