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Dental and Oral Health (Children)

Crowns for a 3 yr Old

06/23/2010

Question:

I found out yesterday that my perfectly healthy 3 yr old grandson will need 4 caps in the front and 3 crowns in the molar region $4800 They want to use an anesthesiologist to put him to sleep for 90min to complete this procedure. other than one front tooth I can see no other visable signs of decay. He has never complained of pain and by his own choice eats plenty of raw vegatables and fruit. This procedure seems extreme to me for a 3 year old should I advise my son to get a second opinion? The dentist told him he needed these procedures to protect his permanent teeth and wants to do it in 2 wks.

Answer:

Thank you for the question. While I don't necessarily think the treatment sounds unreasonable. (the decay may be on x-rays, or suspicious areas) I absolutely believe in second opinions, and think for something so significant, it is warranted.

Depending on the site (hospital/in office) some of the $4800 you mentioned might or might not include a facility fee. I would check with your insurance as far as coverage as well.
 
Baby teeth are often treated to prevent decay that may cause infection and possible damage to developing permanent teeth (as well as pain, infection and potential hospital admission). I would also ask the dentists you see what are the treatment “options”, general anesthesia may not be the ONLY option (although it may be the most cost effective). Hope this helps.

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Response by:

Sarath  Thikkurissy, DDS, MS Sarath Thikkurissy, DDS, MS
Associate Professor of Pediatric Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University