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Dental and Oral Health (Children)

Three year old and tooth decay

07/12/2000

Question:

My three year old has four top front teeth that are decayed. What would happen if we do not have them removed? Could the decay effect his adult teeth?

Answer:

If the decay in your three-year old`s front teeth extends to the pulp (the nerves and blood vessels in the center of the tooth) it could lead to an infection at the ends of the roots which could definitely affect his/her permanent teeth. In fact, this is one of the primary concerns that children`s dentists have regarding early management of decayed baby teeth. This does not always happen and it depends on how advanced the decay is, how fast it is progressing, and what you do now to prevent the spread of this decay. A pediatric dentist can advise you about potential options regarding saving and restoring these teeth versus removing them.

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Response by:

Dennis J McTigue, DDS Dennis J McTigue, DDS
Professor of Pediatric Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University