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Are dental crowns NEEDED?

My pediatric dentist wants to put crowns on my 2 yr old's top teeth. To do this, he plans on using medication and sedatives. My 2 yr old has only ever taken tylenol once or twice so the thought of serious drugs makes me very uneasy. Are crowns really necessary? They're baby teeth so they'll be gone at some point. My child doesn't seem to be in any pain. I have her on a strict, healthy diet but I guess genetics just aren't in her favor when it comes to strong teeth. I ordered her a new toothpaste, I don't allow junk food, and I brush her teeth regularly. If I stay on top of these things, will it keep her teeth from getting worse? I know there's no making them "better" at this point but I'll do all I can to keep them from getting worse. Once the damage starts, is it unstoppable even with proper hygiene and diet? Will her teeth get worse no matter what I do if she doesn't get crowns? I'd really like to avoid this.

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Asked by Anonymous at 11:27 AM on Mar. 2, 2010 in Kids' Health

Answers (6)
  • ask if pulling the teeth is an option...i know a family that had this problem, but the kids didn't experience pain until they were about 5. they had a good diet as well, but they did go to bed with bottles of formula. when their kids started with the pain, i think crowns is what they did.
    try looking up holistic or biological dentists in your area. they may have other ideas for you to explore. i think this should not be a problem in the permanent teeth, but you may want to find out about that too!
    good luck...i would be terrified of that kind of dental work on such a young one too!

    Answer by happy2bmom25 at 11:39 AM on Mar. 2, 2010

  • I used to work as a Dental assistant for a pediatric dentist.

    I would say that it depends on the amount of decay and how quickly it is spreading. The sedatives are not very strong, and they just relax the child, they usually fall asleep once they stop moving around, but the medicine doesnt MAKE them sleep....its really pretty easy.
    Pulling the teeth is a very bad option. She wont get her permanent front teeth until she is AT LEAST 6 years old, and by having the baby teeth gone, it will take longer. That's a long time for no front teeth!
    Are they white crowns or silver ones? If the dentist wants to use the silver ones, then you are pretty much at your last resort at this point. The silver ones are a lot stronger and only used when there is a lot of decay and not a lot of tooth structure left.

    Answer by christyg at 12:43 PM on Mar. 2, 2010

  • If he wants to use the white crowns, ask him if he can give you a prescription strenght fluoride to put on the teeth. It will help to slow the decay and you might be able to wait out 6 months or so, again depending on how bad they are at this point.

    Ultimately, if she needs work on her front teeth, it is not going to go away and will continue to get worse over time. Your best option is to get the treatment she needs now. You will be amazed at how nice they trun out!

    Lastly, PLEASE make sure you are seeing a dentist that specializes in children! I have worked with both and a Childrens Dentist is hands-down better equipped at dealing with the little ones, as well as his whole staff!

    Answer by christyg at 12:49 PM on Mar. 2, 2010

  • He's only 2. It will be a long time before he gets his adult teeth. You need to take care of the teeth he has. I'd follow your dentist's recommendation.

    Answer by ThrivingMom at 4:24 PM on Mar. 2, 2010

  • As a former dental assistant I agree 100% with christyg --- I urge you to listen to what she is saying.  


    Answer by Anonymous at 9:32 PM on Mar. 2, 2010

  • I'm a dental hygienist. If your child is 2 and needs crowns get them. Teeth shift and by having them extracted could disrupt the eruption pattern which could lead to the need for orthodontics later on.
    It's a myth that dental problems are genetic. Juice, many fruits that are acidic, and putting a child to bed with a bottle are a few things that contribute to decay.
    Be sure to brush her teeth before bed - it's the most important time to do it.
    Pediatric sedation is mild and only used to relax the patient.
    Don't be offended if they ask you to wait in the waiting room while treating her - it's less traumatic for the child and easier for the dental team to take care of her.

    Answer by PrttyMstng at 2:28 PM on Mar. 3, 2010

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