To Extract or Not To Extract: Baby Teeth That Is


Taking advantage of a teacher walk out day a couple weeks ago, I scheduled Squeeze Bug for a dental appointment.  I had a traumatizing experience taking her to the dentist when she was two, she screamed bloody murder from the moment we walked through the door and all they did was sit her in the chair to show her all the different tools.   So naturally, I set the appointment for a day that I was at work and her dad could take her.

He got the usual scolding that we (as parents) need to watch her brush and help her because she was missing spots but luckily there were no cavities.  Then he got the speech about getting her to stop sucking her thumb.  Yes we know it is going to make her teeth crooked and we tried explaining that to her but she does not grasp the concept.  We have tried multiple methods to get her to stop but nothing seems to work.  We have resorted to the fact that she will have braces later in life to correct the damage done.

They took x-rays and did the cleaning but then came the fun part.  The hygienist or another assistant (was not the dentist ) told my husband that 6 of Squeeze Bug’s adult teeth were waiting in the wings for the baby teeth to get out of the way so that they could grow in.  She told him that if the baby teeth did not fall out on their own within the next couple weeks, we should bring her back in to have them extracted.  Yes, they want to extract 6 teeth at once!  Seems excessive to me.  When they were in the office, my husband noticed that many children were going to the “dark side” of the office into a separate room and coming out with gauze in their mouths from what he assumes are extractions.

At the time of her appointment, her top two center teeth were loose one more so that the other.  The other 4 they recommended be removed were not wiggly in the least bit so I had my doubts they would all 6 miraculously fall out in the up coming two week deadline we were given.  We are now over 2 weeks out from our appointment and only one of the 6 have fallen out, we have one that is very loose but the other 4 are still hanging in strong.  The thought of her having 6 teeth pulled at one time is not sitting well with me.  It is bringing back thoughts of a story I read last month about a dental office in Florida where a dentist was pulling teeth needlessly for a profit.  He would pull multiple teeth to be able to bill medicare or insurance higher rates to help pad his wallet.  One mother reported that her daughter was taken back to the procedure room, no she was not allowed to accompany the child, to have one tooth extracted and when she finally got her daughter back the dentist had pulled 8 teeth.

Needless to say when my husband told me what the hygienist said about wanting to pull 6 teeth, red flags and warning bells went off and I took to the internet to get more information.  I looked around and there is so much conflicting information out there.  One site says pulling baby teeth is not necessary while the next says that it is normal.  Most say that unless the adult teeth are breaking the surface in odd locations due to the baby teeth still being in the way then you are OK to leave them and that after the baby teeth are out of the way the adult teeth will gradually move into their proper spaces.  Some say pull them before the primary teeth break the surface to make sure they come in in the proper locations.

Now I am even more confused than before but I still do not feel that pulling 6 teeth at once is right or necessary.  How and what will she eat?  She can not live on blended foods until all 6 of the teeth come in.

Has anyone been in this position?  What did you do?  Did you wait for the teeth to fall out naturally or did you have them extracted?


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