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Old 10-29-2007, 11:41 AM   #1
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Silver teeth caps for an almost 2-yr-old?

I just had a really sad visit to the dentist with my 22 month old. I learned on our last visit 6 months ago that because of the misalignment of her jaw all her front top teeth were chipping. Also, the grooves in her molars are extra big, so she was more likely to get cavities. Well, since then I have tried to brush her teeth religiously, but she fights me so I really can only get it done about once a day.

Well, at her appointment just now I found out that she has two cavities in her top molars and the chipped teeth are past the enamel and will probably decay soon. So the dentist plans to knock her out and put 8 silver caps on her teeth. (The ones on the top front will be painted white on one side.) I cried when the dentist told me. She's not even 2 years old! He says it is probably because her teeth just weren't formed quite right and then the breast milk pools on her teeth. (She co-sleeps and would nurse all night for the first 18 months.)

So the day this is to be done she can have no food or drink after midnight until after the appointment. The hardest part is going to be not letting her nurse in the morning. I'm really sad. Should I get a second opinion or just go ahead with this? Any advice on making it easier on her? Thanks.

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Old 10-29-2007, 12:04 PM   #2
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Re: Silver teeth caps for an almost 2-yr-old?

I've never heard of this. I have "larger grooves" in my molars, but nothing major IMO. I mean I don't think that "larger grooves" will cause problems, plus cavities happen, but if they are in the baby teeth and don't hurt then I honestly think they will fall out without any problems when they lose the baby teeth. KWIM? I dunno about metal caps in a baby's mouth. Then again though I didn't go to the dentist until I was 20 years old. I didn't have any cavities or anything though, so I am probably not the best to give advice on this.
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Old 10-29-2007, 12:16 PM   #3
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Re: Silver teeth caps for an almost 2-yr-old?

I'm not a dentist (although my brother, cousin and uncle all are), but this sounds extreme for a 2 year old. She will get adult teeth, starting in another few years, and I don't see the point in putting a child in danger from general anesthesia (since there is always a risk associated with anesthesia) for something that could be done under local. Plus, I have never heard of metal caps. I'm pretty sure they use porcelain caps nowadays. I would get a second opinion before going through with this.

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Old 10-29-2007, 12:34 PM   #4
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Re: Silver teeth caps for an almost 2-yr-old?

A friend of my mother's child went through this (I used to babysit him a lot). But he was older, five at the time. In his case though, he had soo many cavities from eating candy and soda all day long that all his molars (top and bottom, both sides) had one long cap covering them. And that was to help him eat food later on since they had to pull several of his teeth. I think they did the porcelain veneer on the front teeth, but all I could see when I would look at him was the long strip of metal where his molars should've been. But like I said, his case was too much candy (and a mother that would give them candy like it was going out of style) and soda that they would have in their bottles (yes, he still had a bottle) all day long. I don't think I ever saw either of her children eating anything that grew from the ground.

ETA: I would automatically get a second opinion on anything that requires my child being put under. Anesthesia doesn't work for everyone and the last thing I want is to find out my child is one of those people while they're still young, kwim? Plus, that seems very drastic at this age.
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Old 10-29-2007, 12:47 PM   #5
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Re: Silver teeth caps for an almost 2-yr-old?

Thanks for the replies. We try to eat healthy, so I don't think it is diet. I am a little afraid that because this dentist deals a lot with medicaid patients that he might assume we're just not going to take care of her teeth and he might go the cheapest and most extreme route. We are on medicaid right now, but only because I quit my job to stay home with our kids and my husband just switched jobs and got into real estate as the market slumped. I had asked the dentist about putting sealer on her teeth because my sister had that done as a kid, but he said they only do that for permanent teeth.

I did call my sister-in-law who is trained as a dentist and she told me to definitely get a second opinion. So I just tried to set up an appointment with a very respected children's dentist in my town, but was told that because my daughter has medicaid and they are not taking new medicaid patient's that there is a law that they could not take money from me so they could not see her. I almost cried, but after I told the receptionist that upset me because I first thought of this dentist because he goes to my church, she put me on hold and came back and said he would see her for a consultation, I guess for free. I was pretty embarrassed, but I am going to go ahead and do it for my daughter. I'd appreciate any other advice.
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Old 10-29-2007, 12:52 PM   #6
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Re: Silver teeth caps for an almost 2-yr-old?

This happened to my middle son. I usually have a note in my siggy about brushing your baby's teeth b/c I hate that anyone's lo might go thru what we did. Here's our story:

Brushing breastfed baby's teeth:

Seems silly doesn't it? I never even thought about it with my first son, until he was about a year old and had a few teeth. He was formula-fed and although I knew you should never put your baby to bed with a bottle (and I didn't) I didn't brush his teeth! He (and I ) were so lucky nothing happened to him!

Then came Riley, my sweet little man. I knew I wanted to breastfeed him from the beginning, and he did so well. I breastfed him for over a year. Nobody told me that I should have been brushing his little teeth especially his front teeth after he nursed. I was told the same as you, don't worry about brushing till he has more than a couple teeth!

For almost 2yrs we didn't notice anything unusual. But then, when I was brushing his teeth one afternoon after lunch I noticed a grey line right at the gumline of one of his front teeth. I brushed harder, but it didn't come off. I felt it, it was pitted. My stomach sank. I took him to the dentist that week. Just a quick exam revealed how bad it was, Riley had what is referred to as "bottlemouth" or the rotting of the front teeth from the inside-out due to milk sitting at the gumline. It starts under the gum and usually isn't discovered until it is advanced and too late to save the tooth.

I was devastated. Why didn't anyone tell me that something as simple as wiping his teeth and gums with a wet washcloth after he nursed would have saved his teeth? Riley had to have root treatments and crowns on all four of his upper front teeth and 5 of his molars filled for cavities under general anesthesia at 2.5 yrs old.

He is fighting some mild speech and lisping issues due to avoiding placing his tongue against those damaged teeth. The whole procedure cost us $3,000 and the sight of our terrified son coming out of the anesthesia will stay with both of us forever. All of this could have been so easily prevented. Milk pooling in him mouth when he fell asleep after a feeding started cavities. So I'm spreading the word! Wipe your baby's little teeth with a wet washcloth after each meal like you would yourself and after you nurse him/her at night! Save yourself and your baby the pain we had to endure and most importantly so that no other little ones have to suffer: please tell people they MUST brush their little ones teeth, breastfed babies get "bottlemouth" too!
Here is a link for more info:
http://www.nursingbottlesyndrome.com/nbs.html
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Old 10-29-2007, 12:59 PM   #7
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Re: Silver teeth caps for an almost 2-yr-old?

That does seem wayyyy extreme, mama! Make sure to find out the content of that metal... if it has mercury in it, it could be toxic to his little system... (I have an adult friend who is still cleaning mercury out of her system from adult fillings). And "we only seal permanent teeth"?!?!?! BALONEY!!! Sealing only lasts a few years anyhow! They can certainly seal baby teeth!
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Old 10-29-2007, 01:11 PM   #8
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Re: Silver teeth caps for an almost 2-yr-old?

They told us that they wouldn't seal baby teeth either. It's too costly. My ds saw a pediatric dental specialist. The reason we chose full anesthesia is that a procedure this long (2hours) and serious can be psychologcially traumatic to a toddler. As hard as it was, I would not have done gas. Can you imagine being that little with your mouth pried open having all those drills and stuff coming at you?
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Old 10-29-2007, 01:37 PM   #9
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Re: Silver teeth caps for an almost 2-yr-old?

My dd is 5 and she's getting her first filling done this week, and the ped dentist that I'm taking her to (already had a consult) is going to be sealing her molars because "they have big grooves" So the capping is a little rediculous. Also, (and I have no clue, will ask ped dentist) so kids even lose their molars? I definately would get a second opinion about that. Seems a little extreme.
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Old 10-29-2007, 01:41 PM   #10
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Re: Silver teeth caps for an almost 2-yr-old?

That doesn't make any sense that they won't seal the teeth, or that it is too costly. My 7 yr old is getting a couple of teeth sealed and it's only costing us about $8, as opposed to a single surface filling, which costs us about $70 a tooth. Our insurance covers a percentage, not a set amount, so it is pretty clear that sealing is a lot less expensive than fillings.

As for it sounding extreme, perhaps. But I have heard several people say that having baby teeth that do not get fixed can cause major problems for permanent teeth later on. And you don't know when your LO will get permanent teeth. My 7 yr old has only lost 2 of her baby teeth. A friend's son is 6 months younger than her and has already lost 6-7 baby teeth.

While a second opinion is definitely a good idea, I would definitely get something done.
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