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Question about dentists & kids. (sorry, got kind of long)

I'll admit, I haven't been on top of my kids dental health, because of my own fears of the dentist. Anyway, last year I took my 2 oldest to a dentist, they did the full checkup, workup, x-rays, filled the cavities they found in 1 (the other had none), etc, all in 1 day, 1 appointment. Well that dentist left that office, and they brought another in. Fast forward to last week.

Oldest broke a tooth, and all 4 kids needed checkups. They couldn't get the oldest in for 2 days, even with a broken tooth. They were supposed to do the full checkup the same day - it's how I made the appointment. They pulled her tooth, and did NOTHING else - said bring her back another day for the checkup. Brought her back, she has 1 cavity, they said bring her back in 6 weeks to have it filled.

Youngest had his checkup, they found a couple cavities - said bring him back another day to fill them. Brought him back, they only filled one, said they'd do the other in a month.

When I made the appointment for another, I said I know she has 1 cavity, we can see it. She needs a checkup, and that one filled. They did the checkup, found another cavity besides the one. Said bring her back in 6 weeks, and it's going to take 3 appointments of up to 3 hours each to fill that one cavity, then the other will have to be filled sometime after that.

The 4th, yes, cavities, bring back in 6 weeks for fillings.

The oldest 2 have issues with how their adult teeth are coming in, so she referred them to an ortho - ok, fine, whatever, but that appointment's not til after their filling appointments 6 weeks down the road.

So, is it normal to wait so long to fill kids' cavities anymore? Does it really take 9 hours to fill 1 cavity?! (It took 15 minutes for DS's). Why would they want to make them wait 6 weeks, and only do one at a time? Won't they just get worse?! Is she trying to make my kids teeth get worse while we wait, or is she looking to get more money out of their insurance?! (their insurance pays 100% of dental). YES, I am pursuing finding a new dentist RIGHT NOW, and YES, I'm going to call and ask about this dentist (it's part of a chain, I'm calling corporate, going to ask about their policies and complain). YES we will have 2nd opinions but so far, none of my friends' kids' dentists make them wait for fillings - they do everything in 1 day! What's your experience, how do your/your kids' dentists work?


Asked by Anonymous at 10:04 AM on Apr. 20, 2011 in Kids' Health

This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • Are you taking them to a pediatric dentist? That is what I suggest on doing.

    Answer by VintageWife at 10:18 AM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • the only time i had cavities filled, i had 3 filled in one day & it took about an hour

    Answer by samurai_chica at 10:21 AM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • Don't know about kids, none yet luckily, but my dentist often makes me wait because sometimes it takes 30-45 minutes or more to fill a cavity (this depends on where it is, how bad it is, etc) and they are usually fully booked, so they don't have the extra time.

    Cavities, if they don't hurt, the difference in getting them filled one day v a few weeks is not noticeable, and they should not really make a profit out of the thing, it's pretty much a scheduling thing. It's just a pain for us to go in twice.

    Now, making 2 appointments to get 2 cavities filled, I get that. My dentist tried that too. Because if the cavities are served by different nerves, you can chew your mouth up bad and not know. You can't eat for like 4-5 hours. If you only have half your mouth numb, you just chew on the other side- less dangerous, especially for kids

    Not sure about 3 visits for 1 cavity?

    Good luck! Kid dentists are so busy, no flexibility.

    Answer by Tracys2 at 10:24 AM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • Oh my!! I worked as a dental assistant before becoming a mom, and this does not sound "normal" at all. It is normal not to do a filling on the same day as a checkup, the dentist may have a full schedule already or the cavity may take a longer time to fill than he has that day. But, scheduling it at a much later date just does not make sense. Yeah, it could get worse, and lead to worse problems for your child. I never saw a filling so bad that it took 3 hrs 3 different days to fix!!! Does she need a crown or root canal? In that case it would be two long appts, but not quite like you wrote. I agree that you need to find a new dentist ASAP before having anything else done. Like VintageWife said a pediatric dentist would be a great idea. I wish you and your children the best!!!

    Answer by AngieBry at 10:33 AM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • We have to drive an hour for the nearest pediatric dentist, and I'm not sure they'll even take our insurance. I do have a friend who goes to one, and I am going to call and ask. No, she doesn't need a root canal or anything. And booked? No, this dentist is never booked - in fact, they blocked out 2 HOURS for my kids appointment - what else did they have to do in that 2 hours but work on my kids?! NOTHING! And they couldn't even do anymore than the checkup & cleaning1 AGH!

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 11:03 AM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • Umm, don't know.... I feel your frustration just in your post. I wish I had the magic answer for you!! An hour is far to drive with 4 kids, and considering the insurance thing... Maybe there is another good dentist in your area that is taking new patients. Good luck!!!

    Answer by AngieBry at 11:22 AM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • Wow, sounds fishy to me. My kids go to a pediatric dentist and both are in and out within 30 minutes usually.


    Answer by 1smartcookie at 8:45 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • I work at a private practice. ne have many many patients and we get things done much quicker. I am a hygienist and dont wanna knock pedo offices but for the most part when we get kids for their first cleaning/checkup...they have Alot of build up and its a drag! we dont like to hurt or scare them but they have typically only had teeth polished only. Kids have thicker plaque and calculus that needs to be scaled off like adults do. Maybe consider aniother dental office?

    Answer by christinawillis at 10:01 AM on Apr. 21, 2011

  • That's how it was when I was a kid. My only thought is, are the cavities in 3 completely different parts of the mouth? Most dentists wont numb more than one part of the mouth (upper left or lower left) so If they aren't clustered together, they will require more than one appointment. But those appointments shouldn't take more than 30-45 minutes each. It's too bad that they wont help you out a little bit by scheduling your kids in groups.

    Answer by Kitkat61277 at 1:44 AM on Apr. 24, 2011

  • Jericho went to his first dental appointment when he was 4 complaining of tooth pain. Like you I have issues with dentists. HE HAD SEVERAl cavities. We couldn't start the work right away because the original dentist didn't take the secondary insurance so we had to find one who took both.

    At the first visit the x-rays and cleaning were hard on him so we stopped at that and discussed his treatment plan. Visit 2 he had a baby root canal, caps and fillibgs in one section. Visit 3 repeated 2 in another section . The dentist suggested then that we switch to a different dentist in the office.

    Jericho has a very strong gag reflex making it hard to work in the back where most the rest of the work was. That dentist uses a conscious sedation similar to valium. He finished the rest of the work in one visit including an extraction. This was his longest appointment and lasted about 1.5 hours.


    Answer by Jerichos_Mommy at 4:26 AM on May. 24, 2011