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Root Canal Doctor
Root Canal Doctor, Dentist (DDS or equivalent)
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 1411
Experience:  Endodontist (DDS,MS)-50 years of practice, Endodontics Assoc. Professor at Loyola University School of Dentistry, Air Force Veteran
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My children's dentist retired a couple years ago and s

Customer Question

My children's dentist retired a couple years ago and his practice was taken over by another dentist. My younger children are now needing 5-10 are now needing more dental work than my 3 older children ever did. The new dentist won't seal the kids teeth (he says it wouldn't have worked on any of their 7 cavities because they are all between teeth) and I don't trust whether my kids are actually needing all these fillings. He said my 8 year old may need a root canal as well on one of his cuspids (2 of which have cavities). He told me that my 8 year old likely won't lose his cuspid until he is 11 or 12 which is why this work is necessary. Do you recommend sealants for children? Will it help protect the areas between teeth or just the chewing surface? He doesn't do sealants generally and commented that I have good dental insurance so my portion of the filling cost is quite small (which really rubbed me the wrong way). Any advice? My name is ***** *****
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dental
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry. I just noticed a few typos in the previous paragraph. There are 7 cavities among 3 children ages 5,8, and 10. Last year, the same 3 children had 5 cavities that required work. My 3 older children (teenagers now) had maybe 2 cavities total in childhood; however, their dentist used sealants on their teeth while this dentist says they wouldn't have helped because all the cavities are between teeth. Is it worth getting a second opinion? I can easily get x-rays and dental records.
Expert:  Root Canal Doctor replied 1 year ago.

Hi, it is always a bit of a problem for patients when the dentist they are used to seeing retires. Especially if his approach is not what you are used to having. The permanent cuspid (canine) usually erupts at about 11-12 so he is correct about that. Also it is important to maintain the deciduous (first) teeth as long as possible in order to maintain the spacing for the 2nd or permanent teeth. This helps avoid more orthodontic related issues. Most Pediatrists do recommend sealants but the home care that the child does is even more important but the sealants do help. When things get caught between the teeth and stay in over night they ferment and that is what causes decay. Even if the sealants are there. So it is most important that the debris and food left in the mouth be removed before going to sleep. If that is done there will be little to no decay possible. If you can get the X-rays I would be happy to comment after seeing them. Considering all that was recommended I would suggest getting a second opinion and then you can decide if you are being told the truth or just up selling by the dentist. His comments to you about insurance would also make my ears perk up as well. Does all this make sense to you?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How much would you charge to look at the x-ray of the cuspids on the 8 year old? That is my biggest concern since he said my son may need a root canal. We go to the dentist every 6 months - is it common for this much decay to occur in a 6 month period with teeth brushing? We will more reliably floss since that seems to be the biggest problem based on what you and our own dentist said. Our dentist didn't take x-rays on the 5 year old but said that the 2 molars had small cavities that needed to be filled. If our insurance covers some of the cost (or even not), would you recommend sealants for any of the 3 children - 5 ,8 , and 10 year old? If so, just on the molars?
Expert:  Root Canal Doctor replied 1 year ago.

Hi, there is no additional charge if you just upload the films on this chat. You can use this link for instructions: http://ww2.justanswer.com/how-do-i-send-photo-or-file-expert ,
You can use the "PAPER CLIP ICON" ,
OR you can use a photo hosting site like: http://imgur.com/

Decay can start at any time and some children it can advance very rapidly which is why good oral hygiene is so important in the early years. I would recommend sealants on all the posterior teeth to improve the odds of preventing cavities. Once the kids are all treated and you make sure every evening that flossing and brushing are done properly the chances of more decay will drop dramatically if not totally. Some parents even get a water pik device and the kids love to use it and that device will flush out all the debris still left in the mouth after flossing loosens them. Once the kids get in the right habit they will insist on doing it all before going to bed. So if you are able to get the X-rays please upload them. Thanks.

Expert:  Stewart Shernan replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

A great deal of decay in a child's mouth is somewhat unusual. My first question would be : Are your children receiving Fluoride in their water supply or as oral supplements ? DietaryFluoride makes a dramatic difference in reduction of tooth decay by strengthening the enamel as the tooth develops. Topical application of Fluoride is also helpful and important, but cannot replace the impact of dietary fluoride. Sealants absolutely provide additional protection from decay. This protection applies to the occlusal surfaces (top) of the teeth only, but results in significant reduction of decay.

Your children's dite and oral hygiene habits are, of course important. Minimize acidic foods such as soda (including diet). Dried fruit such as raisins, fruit "rollups", and sticky sweets, whether natural or not are retentive sweets that can cause cavities if teeth are brushed shortly after eating. Ultimately it's important that you have confidence in your dentist. Perhaps have this conversation with er or him. Then decide if a second opinion is in order.

Hope this helps,

Dr. Shernan

Expert:  Root Canal Doctor replied 1 year ago.

Hi, did you need more information?