My daughter is six years old and has two broken baby molars. Tooth decay caused the problem and our dentist recommended extraction since they are infected. Is that my only option? 

Kathy from Nevada

Kathy,

When a child’s baby molars are infected, extraction is required. Typically when a tooth is infected a root canal can be performed. But, due to the shape of the roots on a child’s molar, it is not possible to do root canal treatments. That is why the tooth extraction has been recommended. It is important you follow through with this. If this condition is left untreated, the infection will affect her permanent teeth that are still developing.

It is likely that the dentist will want to put in some space maintainers. This will help hold the space where each tooth is removed. Your daughter’s permanent molars will be coming in very soon behind the baby molars. There are other problems that could occur if the space maintainers are not used. For example, the permanent molars can drift forward and this will block out the permanent premolars from coming in normally.

For more information, read more about pediatric dentistry and family dentistry.