My 6 year old daughter has two broken baby teeth that are molars. The teeth have broken because of cavities/decay. The dentist we took her to is recommending that we extract the teeth immediately. Is this the right thing to do?
– Kristina from Wisconsin
When an adult tooth is infected, we do a root canal treatment. However, when a baby tooth is infected, root canal treatments rarely work, and never for baby molars, so the tooth has to be extracted. So your dentist is right to recommend they be taken out. The infection can spread in the bone and affect her developing permanent teeth.
You didn’t mention space maintainers. But I assume that your dentist is also recommending putting in one or two space maintainers, depending on which baby molars are involved. That is critical to prevent serious problems with her permanent teeth. At age six, her permanent first molars are either just about to erupt or have just erupted. They will drift forward and block out her permanent premolars, which could then erupt sideways or not at all. When baby canines and incisors are extracted, they don’t need space maintainers. But for baby molars, unless the patient is around ten to twelve years old (when the permanent premolars are erupting), they do. If your dentist hasn’t recommended that, you should find another dentist for your daughter.
– Dr. Hall
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About David A. Hall
Dr. David A. Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does advanced internet marketing for dentists.