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Old 09-30-2006, 07:18 AM   #1
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Exclamation 4 YR Old needs $2800 DENTAL WORK, & Inconsiderate dentist any advice??

Hi guys, I wanted to know what your opinions were regarding my stuation since I am a bit confused.

I took my 4 year old daughter to the dentist and the dentist claims she needs over $2800 in dental work, including 4 crowns for her molars, anyway at this moment i just cannot afford to have all that work done, they said they would do the work in 2 visits, however I cannot afford that i asked if they can do just the crowns and fillings but they keep insisting that she needs all the work done, and if she dental work done in 3 or more visits instead of 2 visits as theys suggest, I will have to pay $110 for the sedation each time, if i do this i will end up paying about the same, since i thought i can get the work done a little at a time,these people dont make it easy at all, they are making it hard for me so i can have everything done.


the dentist even wants to extract 3 teeth and charge me $165 per tooth when one of them is already loose and is going to come out on its own very soon, he also wants to extract the teeth next to the loose tooth,which will probably fall out on its own pretty soon, he said she is way ahead of schedule since she has already lost 2 teeth at the bottom and they have already grown back. anyway i called again but they still insist that she needs to have this done, the lady has almost a threating voice, like if i dont have the work done i will be in trouble, I dont know what to do I mean i want to have the work done but i cannot afford so much money, there are only 2 pediatric dentist in this area,and they are both very pricey, this dentist doesn't even accept insurance or dental plans, I mean a total ripoff, most dentists only care about making a buck.

its just sad because he tells me that if i dont do the work she could get an abcess an dit will be very painful, and its killing me inside not to be able to do this work, but then again if he was more humane he would find a way around this and do the teeth that are in worst shape for now,but as i said they want it all done. i dont know what to do, I had read a story online about a lady that didn't take her kid to the dentist and they took the kid away from her because he had so much decay in his mouth, i dont know what to do about this I am so lost because I had no idea little kids at this age could have so much dental work done. I always had trouble with cavities and I guess she took after me, but I had no idea this would happen at such an early age.

I have asked friends and they tell me that i shouldn't have it done because the teeth will all fall out, I dont know what to do and am wondering if someone has been in a similar situation thanks again for helping this worried mom.

Last edited by jennyVee; 09-30-2006 at 07:19 AM.

 
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Old 09-30-2006, 12:59 PM   #2
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Re: 4 YR Old needs $2800 DENTAL WORK, & Inconsiderate dentist any advice??

I'm amazed - I didn't think kids that young had dental problems - other than knocking them out prematurely, until they got their adult teeth. Why would any dentist crown molars that will eventually fall out when the 2nd teeth erupt? Is it absolutely necessary that you go to a children's dentist - why not take her for a 2nd opinion with a reputable regualr dentist just so you can determine if the pediatric dentist is just trying to make a quick buck. Is she in any pain or already has an infection? I know things have changed since I was young - but I am not so sure it has been in the best interests of the patients. I kind of agree with your friends Also, given she is prone to problems at such an early age you may want to closely over see her oral hygiene routine going forward - maybe buy those chewable tablets that help kids see where to brush better, start using flouride treatments, drink more milk, etc.

 
Old 09-30-2006, 01:45 PM   #3
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Re: 4 YR Old needs $2800 DENTAL WORK, & Inconsiderate dentist any advice??

Hi I totally agree, thats why i am so confused my daughter isnt in any pain at all, she is brushing her teeth 3x a day now, and the dentist gave her a floride treatment, and a cleaning but they refused to put a sealant on the teeth since according to them there is decay, I just find it so hard to believe that there is so much decay in a 4yr olds teeth, he says that if i dont have the crowns put in she will be in a lot of pain and i dont want that to happen so as a parent that frightens me not to get this work done, I will definately go for a 2nd opinion, most dentists i have encountered want all they can get from patients, I see why so many peopel have bad teeth, who can afford dentists nowadays, when alot of them dont even want to take insurances or dental plans.

anyway I first went to a dentiost when iw as 10 yrs old, most peopel dont take there kids this young but when i went to the dentist they told me that they see even 6 month old babies! I was like HUH, anyway they made me dfeel liek such a bad parent because I didnt take her in much earlier, even though she is NOt in any kind of pain, if she was I would pay anything to relive the pain, but according to them she will be in pain as i mentioned, if she doesnt get all this work done, I will just pray and hope that god will help us through this because we definately cannot afford to pay all this. Thanks


by the way I will buy what you mentioned those colored tablets so kids can brush there teeth better, do you by any chance know what there called, i will do a search now thanks for the tip i appreciate it

 
Old 09-30-2006, 05:07 PM   #4
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Re: 4 YR Old needs $2800 DENTAL WORK, & Inconsiderate dentist any advice??

You have GOT to be kidding me. Key words here - DOESN'T. ACCEPT. DENTAL. INSURANCE. And you know WHY he doesn't accept dental insurance? Because no way in hell would he be able to submit the work he says your child 'needs' and get paid for it. NOBODY puts a crown on a child's tooth, for God's sake. So, ok, he puts a crown on it for what, a year? maybe two? until it either falls out or the tooth outgrows it. I'm sorry, but this guy needs to be reported. Your daughter's teeth are going to fall out within the next few years on their own, and whatever problem she 'maaaaay' have right now will be a non-issue. These types of people like this dentist prey on parents by making them feel guility; in other words, they know you'll dish out that kind of money for your child before you will for yourself, so they make you feel soooo guility if you question them or choose not to do it. These are your daughter's first teeth. Now unless children's teeth have changed since I was a kid in the 50's, that first set isn't that important simply because they aren't permanent. Listen to me - THEY'RE GONNA FALL OUT ANYWAY. The ones that will need looking after are the second ones, and you'll have lots of time to worry about those once they start coming in, and even then it's not an issue until they start talking about braces. I gotta tell ya, I am just fuming here that not only is this dentist trying to rip you off, but the way they treated you is inexcuseable. You know what you do? Exactly what the other poster said - you take her to a regular dentist for a check-up, and you know what? Don't tell him you've already taken her to this other guy or what you were told, just make an appointment for a check-up and let them tell you what they see. Don't say one word about what this other guy said, just wait until the exam is over and then you can share what you've already been told. I would be very curious to know what a regular dentist will tell you after looking at her teeth. And then you come back on here and share with us what he said, ok? Unbelievable. Oh you know what? I'm gonna print out your post and take it with me when I get my teeth cleaned this month, I want to see what they say when they read this. I have never in my life heard of anything like this. Unbelievable.

 
Old 09-30-2006, 10:28 PM   #5
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Re: 4 YR Old needs $2800 DENTAL WORK, & Inconsiderate dentist any advice??

You should take your daughter to a general dentist for a second opinion. A pediatric dentist is a specialist and consequently charges more for his services just like any other specialist. I'm not defending this...it's just a fact.

You are entitled to copies of her x-rays (usually for a small fee). Don't let the front office bully you. Take the copies with you so you won't have to pay for more x-rays. Ask the new dentist to show you the decay in your daughter's mouth as well as on the x-rays. Baby teeth are very prone to decay because children are not all that adept at keeping their teeth clean. These teeth can abscess just like permanent teeth and can be very painful. Crowns that are put on baby teeth are stainless steel crowns (caps), not cast crowns like the one that are put on permanent teeth.

I have to take exception with the notion that baby teeth are not important. A four year old will have her baby molars until she is 9-12 years old. She needs them for chewing plus they are important in holding the spaces for the permanent teeth that will replace them. Be on the lookout for her 1st permanent molars. They come in behind the baby teeth and no baby teeth fall out to make room for them. If she's ahead dentally, they could grow in within a year. Help her brush every day and with care and luck, her permanent teeth may always stay healthy. It takes diligence, though.

 
Old 10-01-2006, 03:14 AM   #6
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Re: 4 YR Old needs $2800 DENTAL WORK, & Inconsiderate dentist any advice??

Get a second opinion for SURE!!!

 
Old 10-01-2006, 01:52 PM   #7
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Re: 4 YR Old needs $2800 DENTAL WORK, & Inconsiderate dentist any advice??

I'm glad I am not the only one who thought this was outrageous. And to put a child through all of that trauma associated with having it done as well. Also, I just saw the chewable tablets in the dental section at Walgreens but can't recall their name so search the retail stores (supermarkets, pharmacies, etc.) in your area.

 
Old 10-01-2006, 05:36 PM   #8
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Re: 4 YR Old needs $2800 DENTAL WORK, & Inconsiderate dentist any advice??

Hi everyone and thanks so much for your comments and advice.


Thanks so much cb50, thanks for yoru support...I agree with every single thing you said I mean why doesnt this dentist accept any kind of insurance because he knows that no insurance will agree that a 4yr old needs so much dental work done.

and also as you said they will all fall out anyway, so why spend so much money on her teeth, since she isnt in pain, I have her brushing her teeth 3 times a day and I help her brush them
I will definately find a dentist in my area to take her to and will not mention anything to him, I think your so right regarding them tryng to make me feel so guilty, i almost felt like crying when i was there because they made me seem like such a crappy mom because i didnt take her to the dentist sooner, you right that maybe the way they get parent to pay for all the dnetal work they claim she needs, by making them feel guilty


***by the way i forgot to mention that he never xrayed the molars she wouldnt stay still so they didnt get to xray them they just xryaed the front teeth, but when he checked the molars thats when he said she needed the crowns put in, but one thing they did was charge me for all xrays even though they didnt do half of them***

My husband is going to pick up her records and copies of the few xrays they took and we will get a 2nd opinion, I actually had no idea that reguilar dentists also saw kids I thought they only saw adults thats why i took her the pediatric dentist, I will let you guys know what the new dentist says as i said I am just worried that she can have an absess and be in pain, I just pray that I find a considerate dentist that will work with us on this.

Thanks you all for your advice

Last edited by jennyVee; 10-01-2006 at 05:39 PM.

 
Old 10-01-2006, 10:11 PM   #9
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Re: 4 YR Old needs $2800 DENTAL WORK, & Inconsiderate dentist any advice??

When your husband goes to pick up the xrays have him request a refund of the xrays not taken - if they did not do a full series you should not be charged for a full series. And do not let them charge you for the xrays your husband is picking up either - they are yours - you already paid for them.

 
Old 10-02-2006, 05:06 AM   #10
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Re: 4 YR Old needs $2800 DENTAL WORK, & Inconsiderate dentist any advice??

I'm pretty sure there is some law which says the xrays belong to the patient. I went through this when changing dentists a few years ago. The office can charge a minimal fee for copies though.
I always brought my children to the regular dentist. The dentist and the hygenists were always great with the kids, especially because most of them have kids of their own.

 
Old 10-02-2006, 06:28 AM   #11
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Re: 4 YR Old needs $2800 DENTAL WORK, & Inconsiderate dentist any advice??

For several years I coordinated conscious sedation treatment in a pediatric dental practice. I can tell you decay in toddlers and young children can and does happen for a variety of reasons. Heredity, congenital lack of enamel, drinking from the bottle or breast and using a "sippy" cup for long periods (=teeth being bathed in sugar) or any combination of can and does at times lead to decay. Yes, the pediatric dentists typically do the first exam 6 months after the first tooth erupts. They screen for early signs of decay but mostly advise parents on decay prevention like brushing the baby's teeth daily as soon as they erupt and recommending stopping bottle use at 1 yr. then going straight to using a reg. cup. Unfortunately, most pediatricians "drop the ball" and do not advise new parents to have their children screened by the pediatric dentist as they should. Yes they are specialist so they do charge more but, and there is a huge but...they have gone to dental school longer. Studying childhood development and behavior and to become well accustom to administering and monitoring drugs for conscious sedation. Little ones who are "lively" and just do not feel at ease enough to enough to allow the dentist to perform treatment are not well served with a general dentist who does have the background or the techniques to handle them with success. Decay at that early age is typically caused by breast or bottle milk that sits too long on the teeth. When the sugars in the milk breakdown into acids then the acids "eat" the enamel "decay" is born and all it does is grow. Same process happens when as they get older and the juice drinking starts. When the decay spreads to enough of the tooth...(usually heading straight for the nerve)...when taken out there is very little natural tooth structure left and cannot be filled (there would end up being more filling then tooth) then a stainless steel crown is the most common solid treatment. And yes, at times root canal (pulpotomy) is needed as the primary teeth have HUGE nerves in comparison to permanent teeth so it takes a much smaller cavity less time to expose nerves in primary teeth.

The baby teeth and their state of health...good or not...have a direct impact on the adult teeth. Decay or abscess of the primary tooth can cause a permanent tooth (that is still developing right below it) to erupt with decay...I have seen it happen. If there is decay, it only grows and to remove it before it exposes the nerve and causes pain, swelling and serious infection or all three is the absolute best thing one can do. At a young age it is considered the most humane to perform as much treatment as possible while under conscious sedation so I can understand their interest in wanting to not stretch out the work over multiple visits. Why heavily medicate a child more times then absolutely needed?

As far as not taking your insurance...always check your policy handbook and seek treatment ONLY from a Dr. listed, and when you call the office for your first appt. make a point of always confirming the Dr. is still a provider in your plan prior to even setting foot in the office. This will prevent any surprises.

If you have never heard of early childhood dental decay like this it can be very disturbing to have all of this info being thrown at you "out of the blue". I totally agree! I was floored to see this myself. It is almost unbelievable but it can and does happen all the time.

As mandatory child abuse reporter dentists do have the obligation to report any signs of abuse or neglect they come across to the proper authorities. That is the most likely reason for that story you heard about.

I know this all seems very overwhelming. Take a breath and devise some strategy to tackle this. You do not have to feel that you have no control over your child’s care but I know you can be much better served by a more compassionate dentist, that is a provider on your dental plan and maybe has some payment options that are much more "doable" for you. GET ANOTHER OPINION :-)

Call the current pedo up and request a copy of your child's treatment plan...tell them you are in the midst of arranging some financing and need everything on paper if you feel you cannot just ask for them outright without wanting to jump through the phone. You are legally entitled to a copy of the record.

Call your dental insurance and tell them to give you the names of the 3 closest pediatric dentists. Remember you may have to go a little out of your way...because there are just not a whole bunch of pedo dentists out there...but your little one is worth it :-) We are almost at the end of the calendar year and if your dental benefit year starts on Jan. 1st and ends on Dec. 31st then you could go with the strategy of having 1/2 the work done in 2006 and the other 1/2 in early 2007 Jan. If you thought you would "max out" your benefits in 2006 if you had all the work done in 2006 that would prevent that.
I wish you for you strength and clarity. Good luck.

Last edited by Mora; 10-02-2006 at 06:32 AM.

 
Old 10-03-2006, 05:54 PM   #12
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Re: 4 YR Old needs $2800 DENTAL WORK, & Inconsiderate dentist any advice??

Hi,
I have to disagree with what some people are saying about the molars not needing to have crowns. My five yr old just had a crown put on a molar because he will not lose it until he is approximately ten yrs old. So the crown made sense. We got into so much dental problems with my little boys teeth because we went to a poor dentist for work initially. We initially went in for a cleaning and were told he needed a filling. OK, so we had it filled. They drilled so much tooth away to put in a small filling that the tooth later broke and had to have a crown. The dentist that did the damage was also very rough and now my son is scared of the dentist. His crown was done by a pediatric specialist and it was still painful but she was great! PLEASE, seek a second opinion on the dental work. That is too much money not to get another opinion. Your little ones teeth are very important and need to get proper care.

 
Old 10-03-2006, 05:58 PM   #13
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Re: 4 YR Old needs $2800 DENTAL WORK, & Inconsiderate dentist any advice??

I just read what MORA wrote and agree whole heartedly. Good luck to you and your daughter! Keep us posted.

 
Old 10-03-2006, 09:32 PM   #14
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Re: 4 YR Old needs $2800 DENTAL WORK, & Inconsiderate dentist any advice??

I myself don't get these 'pediatric' dentists. My dentist and hygeniest see kids all the time. Now, my daughter did take my 3-year old granddaughter to a pediatric dentist a couple of months ago, and I did raise my eyebrows a bit when she told me, but she said she just wanted her to get a taste of going to see how she would react (she did very well) and they went to the pediatric place only because they work well with kids. But my daughter has no intention of continuing to take her there once she gets a bit older....she'll take her where we all go.

 
Old 10-04-2006, 06:01 PM   #15
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Re: 4 YR Old needs $2800 DENTAL WORK, & Inconsiderate dentist any advice??

This issue has really been on mind lately so today I asked my tmj dr about it and he said nowadays it is the norm to crown decayed baby teeth - more so to save the spot for the the 2nd tooth when it does erupt. It helps allow the 2nd teeth come in straighter and aligned properly. He also said its generally done when the decay is very bad and the tooth structure has seriously deteriorated but he mentioned that he has never seen a porcelain or white crown done - its more of a metal cap or crown. When I said I never heard of such a thing - he just gave me a nodding wink like "that's b/c you're old and they didn't this in your day". LOL Guess its never too late to learn.

 
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