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Dental and Oral Health (Children)

Root canal vs. tooth removal

06/12/2006

Question:

Hi, I took my 7 year old to have his teeth cleaned today. He has not lost any teeth yet so all of his teeth are still baby teeth. He has some very bad cavities in the upper right quadrant in the back (the diagram I have here shows teeth a & b if that means anything)His pediatric dentist recommended getting a pulpotomy and a crown and I was wondering what the advantage is to this verses removing these two teeth? I didn`t think of this until after I left but wanted to get another opinion before I call to ask.

Answer:

Those two baby teeth are important to hold space for the permanent teeth to follow when your son is about 11 or 12 years old.  If you have concerns about the dentist's treatment, it's always a good idea to get a second opinion; however, the plan to save those teeth with pulpotomies and crowns is consistent with recognized standards of care and is the appropriate treatment.

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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