They want to put my 3 yr old to sleep!

Priscila - posted on 02/16/2010 ( 23 moms have responded )

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So I took my son who just turned 3 to his first dentist appointment. By the way, the reason why it's his first is because back in '06 they told me they didnt need a check up til then. So we went, they took some xrays and said he has two small cavities up top near the front. He did ok, didnt freak out or anything but wasnt too thrilled about the little xray things being stuck in his mouth. Upon leaving, they told me I needed to come back to get his fillings and that they would need to give him this drink that would make him really groggy like if he were drunk. My insurance covers %80 of both fillings but none of the sedation which is $187! I called my mom and sister and they were both hysterical telling me not to let them put him asleep, that is wasnt necessary for something that routine and small. I need your opinion. What do I do? Let them put him asleep, try it without the sedation, get a second opinion? I just find it funny that the sedation is the most expensive part and my insurance doesnt cover it so the dentist office would get all the money for that part. Please let me know.

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I work for a pediatric dental office and I want to tell you that sedation is a safe procedure. At that age, sedation is the best choice. I would allow my children to go through the procedure. You definately don't want to let the cavity go even though they are on baby teeth. Cavities spread and only get worse, not better. If left alone, the cavity could grow into an abscess which is far more dangerous than putting your child through sedation! The infection could go into the blood and be deadly. You have no idea how many parents let there kids suffer by letting cavities go! Plus, baby teeth hold the space for permanent teeth.

Sedation is a simple procedure. The patient take a drink, waits in the waiting room for about an hour, gets sleepy and then is brought back to have the treatment done. The child won't remember anything. They'll go home and either be sleepy most of the afternoon or be back to normal. They will recommend light activity the rest of the day.

You can always get a second opinion, but I honestly think this will be the best choice. I have yet to see a three year old capable of enduring the shot and the drill.

Unfortunately, dental insurance doesn't cover sedation. At our office, the price is much higher.

Feel free to ask me any questions you may have. Our own employees have had their children go through sedation. I would let my daughters have it done.

The recommended age for a first trip to the dentist is around age two, unless there is a concern.

[deleted account]

You need fillings in baby teeth because they are space holders for permanent teeth. Yes they will fall out eventually, but they need to be healthy to keep room for the big teeth and not cause your child pain.

I had to have my 3 year old daughter sedated to get her fillings done. We tried everything else before that: laughing gas, a mild sedative, etc., but she wouldn't let the dentist drill. It was too scary for her. So we did the sedation and it was fast and much easier on everyone. I don't want my child to dread the dentist chair when she's older due to a bad experience early on.

Good luck. It's still scary, but is done every day.

Maria - posted on 03/27/2010

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The sedation used in a dentists office will not be the same sedation used for surgeries. We had a scare with my son in January... his eyes were all over the place. The technical diagnosis was 3rd nerve palsy, and it corrected itself within 3 days, but we were admitted to the Childrens Hospital and seen by almost ever doctor it seemed. My son had an MRI, and was given Propofol, a short-acting hypnotic agent, and recovery from it is rapid. MRI's require you to remain perfectly still, and as we all know, three year olds are not able to do that! LOL! The entire procedure was approximately half an hour, and as soon as it was over, and the slid him out of the machine, he immediately started coming to. The hospital staff were fantastic. I held his hand as they gave him the sedative, and I was allowed to remain in the MRI room (with heavy duty ear protection) for the duration of the procedure. As with any medication, there are always risks. Anytime a sedative like that is used, the patient should be monitored by appropriately trained staff, and with monitoring devices. My son was hooked up to a heart and blood pressure monitor while he was sedated, and the MRI tech's, and a doctor, were watching him the entire time.
I have problem teeth, and had many of my baby teeth filled. Decay in baby teeth will affect your permanent teeth, and oral health problems can cause problems
"Poor oral health can affect more than just your mouth; it can affect other areas of your body as well. In fact there is now research that shows the connection between poor oral health and systemic disease such as diabetes in people of all ages and respiratory diseases particularly among elderly people. Also there is new research now pointing to possible connections between oral health and other systemic conditions such as heart disease and premature, low birth weight babies." - This is information taken from the Health Canada website. If you aren't comfortable with the dentists office set-up for sedation, find another dentist.

Tamsin - posted on 03/11/2010

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My 3 yr old and 4 yr old just recently visited a dentist that was recomended to us by our pediatrition, it was an amazing experience! My 4 yr old needed some fairly extensive work done and they did it without sedation, I was shocked, she had a great time and can't wait to go back! His office was a childs wonderland, kids movies on several tv's, coloring, games, they even have a ballon animal man full time! I highly recommend finding a dentist that does nothing but pediatrics, it wasn't covered by our insurance but it was worth every extra penny! The right dentist makes all the difference!

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Patricia - posted on 03/29/2010

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I am concerned that my son's dentist said that he has a fluride disorder and he has to have 8 fillings and 4 crowns. But they are talking about full sedation with an anesteiologist (misspelled). Thats the problem that I have I find it hard to beleive that he really needs all of that work done and the surgery center is absoutley necessary and that some of this work couldn't be done in office with the sedation liquid. I can't afford not to have my insurance pay a prortion of this procedure. I guess I just need to find another dentist it sounds like. Trisha

Nancy - posted on 03/24/2010

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yes very true my son in next month I'm praying his teeth will be healthy. I dont want to have him sleeping nor being in pain.

Simona - posted on 03/24/2010

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To each their own, but it seems a cruel and unusual punishment to put your child through so much pain that they need to be restrained. if it is a level of pain you would not go through yourself, why would you put your child through that pain?

We had our first dentist appointment today, and luckily my son doesn't need any work. But, if he had, i would not opt for something that would cause him unbearable pain.

Also, as someone previously posted, it is necessary to fix cavaties in baby teeth, as if left untreated, can affect the adult teeth, or worse.

Just my two sense.

Nancy - posted on 03/19/2010

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Try your best not to put him to sleep is not healthy for them. I want to half way kill my sons doctor since he did said the same thing. I read books and talked with other doctors and you can take them when they are about 2 years old. In addition, my son needed to have surgery on his arm he was put to sleep 3 time every time I was told on that there could be complication and he might not wake up. Try your hardest for something so small I don’t think he should get put to sleep. You might need to have him tied down {restrained}, which will make you cry since it’s not fun to see your baby needing an wanting you and you not being bale to do anything about it. I’m saying this because it happen to me and my sister and now we are terrified of the dentist, no joke. Try to find a way that will neither puts him sleep nor have him terrified of going back to the dentist office again. Good luck



♥ nancy

Davina - posted on 03/19/2010

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I think its really important that both you and your son have a calm and comfortable experience over an issue that is an unknown to most parents. Perhaps seek advice from an independant paediatric dentist or most certainly talk to the NZ Dental association so they can steer you in the right direction. Every situation can be very different. I was a dental assistant and I know that both of these options will help.

Cheers Dee

[deleted account]

Why do they want to fix baby teeth that will fall out in 4 years +/-. If it is not bothering the child I would not go through with it. I just could not do that to my kid.

Kim - posted on 03/11/2010

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that sounds like a fantastic dentist!! i would definitely go there if i was in the same country, lol
i brought my 3 year old along on my recent visit for a check-up and a couple of fillings. we chatted all the way there about the big chair and the tools, and the loud noises, but they were all to help me get my teeth fixed and healthy. she took it all on board, sat where i had told her and just watched. i waved a couple of times and asked if she was ok, the assistant gave her a balloon and a sticker, she was great. emma laughed at the "funny chair" when i was lowered back. the dentist chatted to her and by the time i was leaving, i had made an appointment for her 1st visit, in may. he told me not to even mention words like frighten, scary or nervous to her. he has a monitor by the chair & apparently has all sorts of visual distractions on there if necessary. so right now she is excited to go back and sit in the big chair, and get a balloon etc, not even close to your experience tamsin! but i'm just praying it goes smoothly and she doesn't go through life with this awful phobia that i have.

Kim - posted on 03/05/2010

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i have a 3 year old and can understand your concern. soon she'll be going for her 1st dentist visit. it's a big deal for me, as i've had a chronic phobia of dentists since childhood. a bad experience etc, etc,. thinking back - i really wish they had sedated me and maybe i wouldn't be such a basket case now!! it's a safe procedure and i don't think the child is actually put to sleep. i was sedated a few years ago for a root canal - my choice and paid for (gladly) 100% by me - and i was awake, fully aware of what was happening, just didn't care a bit, lol. worth every penny. going through life with a fear of the dentist is a terrible thing, and anything you can do to make your child's dentist visits easier is strongly advisable. i know this post is from a while ago, and the whole thing is probably ancient history by now, but i just wanted to comment. i hope it all worked out well in the end.

Jamie - posted on 03/03/2010

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I can so relate to this story!!! I JUST HAD MY 3 YEAR OLD SEDATED FOR DENTIST WORK. LET ME TELL YOU, AT FIRST I WAS AFRAID, BUT BACK IN JANUARY HE HAD TO HAVE HIS TONSIL AND ADNOIDS OUT. THAT WAS A BAD SURGERY FOR HIM. THE SEDATION AND ALL THAT WENT WELL BUT WHEN HE WOKE UP HE WAS SCARED CAUSE THEY DO NOT ALLOW YOU THERE AT FIRST. SO HE WAS SCARED CAUSE HE DIDN'T KNOW WHERE HE WAS. SO THIS TIME GOING IN FOR SEDATION I KNEW WHAT TO EXPECT. BUT IT WAS A BREEZE! MY SON WOKE UP A LITTLE SCARED, BUT BECAUSE HE WASN'T IN PAIN THIS TIME HE WAS A LITTLE TIRED AFTER AND WANTED TO JUST GO HOME AND PLAY. HE DIDN'T EVEN KNOW WHAT HAPPENED! HE HAD HIS CAVITY FILLED AND HIS TEETH XRAYED WHILE UNDER. HIS TEETH LOOK BEAUTIFUL. IT IS WELL WORTH TO MAKE IT A BETTER EXPERIENCE FOR THEM AND WANT TO GO BACK TO THE DENTIST AND NOT HAVE A BAD EXPERIENCE! BUT ONLY YOU CAN MAKE THAT DESCISION. GOOD LUCK TO THE BOTH OF YOU. THEY FILL THE CAVITIES ON BABY TEETH BECAUSE IF THEY ARE NOT TAKEN CARE OF THEY CAN ACTUALLY ROT THE TEETH THAT COME IN (ADULT TEETH). SO MY DENTIST SAID KUST A LITTLE INFO

Melissa - posted on 02/26/2010

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My son just recently got hurt by a picture frame and had to have 4 stiches in his hand, they also had to put him some-what under to do that because otherwise he would have not sat still for that at all. I'm happy they did it because he probably would have remembered it, and with them doing that, we ask him what happens, and he says I don't know. He obviously knows how it happened but not what made him better!!!!

Priscila - posted on 02/23/2010

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So I took him to the other office and they took xrays and everything went fine. Then while we were waiting for the dentist to come in he got out of the seat and said "it's not good for me". Long story short, we had to hold him down just to let the dentist look at his teeth and he threw a fit the rest of the time we were there. So of course I looked like an idiot bc I had told them I didnt think sedation was necessary. So they told me he is going to need a cap and a small filling. So with him reacting the way he did the second time around, I'll just have to see how he deals with it that day and do whichever one is best for him.

Brittany - posted on 02/20/2010

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I have the same problem. I was also told not to bring my daughter to the dentist until she was 3. Well, 2 weeks ago she had her first appointment and they told me the needed to put her to sleep to fill a cavity. I am very nervous about this, too. I might get a second opinion as well just for peace of mind.

Dana - posted on 02/19/2010

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My 5 year old has inherited the bad teeth of the family. He has had 3 caps and one filling so far. When the dentist did his teeth the gave him laughing gas. He did ok with it and they only problem we had was he was numb for hours after. He kept telling me his lip was huge and he couldn't eat, but his lip was the normal size. I even made him go look in the mirror and he still didn't believe me. i couldn't help but laugh! Well thats my 2 cents. Good Luck!

Melissa - posted on 02/18/2010

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My son had to have his front teeth capped and they had to put him to sleep also, I was fine until they took him to the back, then I broke down and started crying, after they took him of course, so he didnt see me crying too. They said it was going to be an hour and a half treatment, but it was only a half hour, so that surprised me....but it's also hard to see him after the treatment. Things will be a lot better after that, other wise it could possibly ruin his adult teeth also, and that would be a bigger bill in the long run. If you have any more question, just ask me, I might have something to say!! Melissa

Priscila - posted on 02/17/2010

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I did call another dentists office and theyre gonna see him tomorrow and let me know what they think. The also said that they may be able to use laughing gas instead of sedation that way he would be ok when we left from there so they would know if there were any problems. And, it's only $42. But let's wait and see what this plac thinks. The woman on the phone seemed alot nicer and understanding also.

Priscila - posted on 02/17/2010

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yea, tell me about it! thanks for the input, please let me know what they tell you.

Erin - posted on 02/16/2010

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I'm taking mine to the dentist for the first time tomorrow...I will ask. My cousin is a hygentist and will be seeing my son...I'll post what info I get tomorrow
I would be really nervous about that too! Seems scary to put your little one to sleep

Jenny - posted on 02/16/2010

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Why are they filling cavities on baby teeth? They are just going to fall out anyway when he gets his adult teeth. That seems a little ridiculous to me. I would get a second opinion. We just took our son to the dentist for the first time too. Our dentist doesn't see kids until they are 3 either. Thank God our son didn't have any cavities, so I don't know what my dentist does for kids. If they do need to be filled for some reason, if it were my son, he would have to be knocked out. He was so freaked out about being at the dentist that he was crying and throwing an absolute tantrum, while he was getting his teeth brushed! It was so awful. So if it were my son it would have to be sedation, or not filling the cavities. Go with your gut here. If it really feels wrong for them to do this to your son, get a second opinion. Good luck!

Emily - posted on 02/16/2010

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I dunno.. I might opt for the sedation. I can't imagine my 3-year-old sitting still for a procedure like a cavity-fill. It may be routine for you and me, but for a 3-year-old who's never had it done, I'm sure it would be terrifying. I don't know how your child does with shots, but mine hates them. A cavity fill involves more than one shot of novacaine directly to the gums, and I think it's pretty painful. Do you think your little guy would willingly open his mouth for that, let alone the rest of the procedure? I think I'd gladly take the sedation.. lol. It doesn't sound like he'd be totally asleep. I'm sure they know what they're doing. It's a bummer about the insurance though. My dental coverage sucks too.

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