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Old 09-06-2009, 05:42 PM   #1
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My 4 1/2 year old is going under anesthesia on Tuesday. *Update in post #23*

For dental work. She has quite a few cavities and rather than put her through 6+ appts of shots, drilling, etc, we opted to do one appt which includes putting her under general anesthesia and getting it all done at once. I'm SO very nervous for Tuesday First of all I feel like a horrible parent, though I've been told I shouldn't feel that way. My daughter has my teeth. I take good care of my teeth yet I get cavities extremely easily. Lili doesn't drink much juice at all (she's never been a fan), rarely has sweets, never has soda, and always brushes and flosses twice a day. I was proud of how well I took care of my daughter's teeth, but I started noticing cavities and sure enough, she has some. I'm worried I made the wrong decision. I don't know what I'd do if she went into cardiac arrest or something while under the anesthesia! I'm also worried (shallow as it may be) how her teeth will look afterwards. Most of her cavities are between her teeth. They have to cap all of the teeth affected! I should have asked why they can't just do fillings. Maybe because of their placement? Are fillings just more expensive (she has medicaid)? She has to have her 4 top front teeth capped! I held it together while in the appt when they told me that, but as soon as we got out and Lili ran off with her brother at the park, I started bawling. The caps will be silver in the back but white in the front. I can't imagine them looking natural enough so that nobody will notice. Is that possible?

If anyone has any advice for me, I'll gladly take it. Have any of you been through something like this, or do your children have any caps on their front teeth and how do they look?

Thank you. I'm probably overreacting, but I can't help it. I've never had surgery and neither has SO and neither of our kids have ever had anything happen to where they needed anesthesia either.

I hope this is the right place to post this. I rarely post on Parenting Talk.

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Old 09-06-2009, 05:50 PM   #2
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Re: My 4 1/2 year old is going under anesthesia on Tuesday.

I am so sorry to hear about our dd. I really have no advice for you just *hugs*. My oldest is about ready to go through a few appointments of dental work as well. We are the same as you just bad teeth. Good luck mama.
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Old 09-06-2009, 06:17 PM   #3
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Re: My 4 1/2 year old is going under anesthesia on Tuesday.

I would definately get a second opinion, if I were you. Please, don't let them put the silver fillings in your dd's mouth (they contain mercury)!
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Old 09-06-2009, 10:53 PM   #4
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Re: My 4 1/2 year old is going under anesthesia on Tuesday.

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Originally Posted by missydawn View Post
I am so sorry to hear about our dd. I really have no advice for you just *hugs*. My oldest is about ready to go through a few appointments of dental work as well. We are the same as you just bad teeth. Good luck mama.
Thanks. I'm just wondering if I should nix the anesthesia route and have her go through the 'normal' route of dental work. It's a ton of appts, but it's probably less of a risk.
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Old 09-07-2009, 12:27 AM   #5
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Re: My 4 1/2 year old is going under anesthesia on Tuesday.

My son had a cavity filled and the dentist used the white filling...They do not have white caps for the back? But the anesthesia is the part my daughter just recently went through (she got an MRI). It was not bad at all...She woke up quickly and did very well. She was monitored the whole time. I know that it was explained to me about 3 or 4 times about the procedure what meds they used to put her to sleep...How they would monitor her so they would know if an issue arose, etc. A good doctor will explain things to you to make sure you understand what will go on, etc...As long as you feel comfortable with the doc, everything should be fine (that, of course is my opinion). Do what you feel is right for her! HTH...If you have any questions, just let me know.
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Old 09-07-2009, 06:18 AM   #6
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Re: My 4 1/2 year old is going under anesthesia on Tuesday.

DD is 4yrs and just went through 4 appts for 7 cavities The dentist we see is AMAZING and my dd did sooooo well. Anyways the first appt. they just did 1 little one to see how she'd do and then if it didn't go well they said we'd discuss alternatives. But she did so well that it wasn't necessary. The dentist and I never even really discussed with her what was going on lol, we just told her they needed to fix her teeth so they didn't hurt and she was FINE. But I guess a lot of it depends on your dentist, I found this one exceptionally gentle etc. I would be too nervous to put my dd under if it's just cavities. If there's more work than that then maybe.
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Old 09-07-2009, 06:51 AM   #7
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Re: My 4 1/2 year old is going under anesthesia on Tuesday.

Sorry, DS only had caps on a couple of molars, though they are all silver and kind of stand out. He also had to have his front tooth pulled. He was only 2.

I felt like a horrible parent too and I sure as heck wasn't as diligent as you are! Anytime I'd try to get a toothbrush in my kid's mouth he'd gag and vomit on me!

And of course they treat you like an idiot when you go in there. "He's old enough now he shouldn't be dragging a bottle around!" Uhhh...he's never had a bottle...in his life! "And you can't give him pop in a bottle" Again he doesn't take a freaking bottle! "You know you have to brush his teeth right?" No really? REALLY? I didn't know that! So I asked them if his severe reflux and vomiting 3 times a day for his entire life could have caused it. "Well, yeah, I suppose that could cause it...." And then they started talking about that damn non-existent bottle again.
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Old 09-07-2009, 07:18 AM   #8
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Re: My 4 1/2 year old is going under anesthesia on Tuesday.

my daughter is 2 and went under anesthesia a few months ago for a gastrointestinal biopsy. the doctors did very well and monitored her great, she was just very upset when she was coming out of the anesthesia. some kids come out of it fine, others freak out. its heartbreaking if they are freaking out, so just prepare yourself emotionally. but i was also 7 months pregnant and emotional lol. it doesnt last long, once i got her to go to sleep she slept it off and was fine when she woke up.
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Old 09-07-2009, 09:06 AM   #9
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Re: My 4 1/2 year old is going under anesthesia on Tuesday.

Thank you for the replies. SO thinks we should just go through with the appt tomorrow. We've waited a month for it. We probably will. I will be a nervous wreck but I'm sure it will be fine.

I have to say that this method was really pushed on me. I was very emotionally distressed and the dentist kept saying this was the better option. It's faster, easier for Lili, not painful, and this other dentist's caps look much more natural, too. I hope it's the right decision.
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Old 09-07-2009, 09:53 AM   #10
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Re: My 4 1/2 year old is going under anesthesia on Tuesday.

I used to work for a dentist, so maybe I can be of some help.

Medicaid prefers to pay for amalgam fillings [ silver fillings ] because they are cheaper than composite fillings [ tooth-colored fillings ]. Fillings are a lot cheaper than caps, but if you or a child need a cap/crown, it's because the tooth has too much decay to hold just a filling. After all the decay has been drilled out, there wouldn't be a strong enough foundation for a filling. I still see some dentists using silver caps on front teeth which I do not agree with, but it is cheaper and sometimes that is all Medicaid will pay for. This is a reason a lot of dentists don't take Medicaid anymore, as most dentist are opting out of using amalgam fillings nowadays and preferring composite. Amalgam has a tendency to expand over time, so if used on adult teeth as a child, they most likely will need to be re-filled in the future. That's not always the case, but happens often. Because your LO still has her baby teeth, you won't need to worry about this happening before her permanent teeth come in.

If you are worried about the aesthetics of silver caps, I would call around for dentists who take Medicaid but no longer use amalgam fillings/silver caps. If you can't find any, then just go forward with your appt, esp. since your dentist is willing to use the tooth colored caps on her front teeth.

Dentists prefer to use general anesthesia on a young child simply because s/he won't have to worry about working on a squirmy child. It's a lot harder than you would think. Usually the dental assistant will have to use her arm to put over the child's chest so the child isn't flinging her arms around while the dentist is working/administering the anesthesia. It looks cruel on our part [ the dental staff ], but it has to be done so that the child doesn't hit the dentist mid injection and fault the placement of the needle, or hit him while he's drilling. & also, most adults have a fear of dentists given their terrifying experiences of the shots at an early age, so a dentist prefers the general anesthesia so as to prevent as little fear as possible. I totally agree with general anesthesia in your situation, especially because your LO will be requiring more than one injection. There are approx 6 possible injection sites depending on which tooth is going to be worked on, and gen. anesthesia will be much less scary for her than multiple shots. You can fool a 4 year old with one, MAYBE 2 shots, before she starts to realize what is coming at her each time, making it harder for her to be held still.

I hope I helped. If you have any more questions, feel free to PM me.
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