Back in November Cooper fell and chipped his front tooth. We have visited a couple of dentist and gathered many opinions and researched the different options we had for dealing with his broken tooth. In the end we limited our options to the advice of the dentist at Children’s Hospital and opted for a surgery where they would do a root canal and cap his tooth under general anesthesia or pull it once they could see what damage was done when they sedated him. This surgery was originally scheduled for mid December, but pushed out until the end of January when we learned that a few more weeks probably wouldn’t matter. As the date neared we really began to question our choice and had another consultation with the dentist.
After the consultation we decided instead of going down the general anesthesia, root canal and cap route we have chosen the wait and see route. Dr. Mak was very patient with all of our questions and called on many of her peers to get their opinions and thoughts on our surgery options as well. We felt very fortunate to have her as our dentist for this event.
Cap route summary:
- This would increase the likelihood that his front tooth could be saved and he wouldn’t spend years with out it until his permanent one comes in
- Put Cooper under GA and investigate if and how far the break went into his gum
- Decide if the tooth can be capped or needs to be pulled
- If it can be capped do a root canal first which weakens the tooth making it more prone to a future break if he hits it again.
- There is a chance the root canal won’t be successful and the tooth still gets infected and needs to be pulled
- A cap would need to be redone most likely around age 3
- There is a very small chance like with anyone of any age going under anesthesia that he wouldn’t wake up – this pretty much sealed the deal for us even if it is a very tiny % chance
Wait and see summary:
- We need to continue to be diligent in brushing his teeth twice a day
- Limit the number of exposures to sweets like juices, but not necessarily the volume and brush afterward
- If we see an abscess we need to get him into the dental office in a day or two – much better than the run to the ER experience we thought we would have to do – unless there is a fever
- If there is an abscess it will most likely need to get pulled and only if it gets really bad would it impact the permanent tooth, which sounds unlikely if we keep an eye out for it
- We will schedule regular 3-6 month check-ups to have them keep an eye on the tooth
- His tooth may turn gray in the coming weeks, months or even a year or more, but that doesn’t mean it necessarily has to be pulled
- Even if his tooth gets pulled because it is a front tooth they don’t worry about losing the spacing for the permanent tooth like they do the back teeth
- Being a front tooth he will naturally lose it at 6-7 years old if it doesn’t need to be pulled earlier so the time line is sooner than a molar would be which is better
After we cancelled the surgery they still wanted to see Cooper to check on the tooth. We left the check-up appointment happier than I ever thought possible. They said his tooth and gums looked fantastic and agreed that not doing the surgery was a good choice. We know that there are many parental decisions we will be making his entire life, but this being one of our first larger tests we were very happy with the outcome and professional opinion of our decision.
We are very diligent about brushing his teeth twice a day and will continue to be hoping that we can keep what front tooth he still has until it falls out naturally around age 6. Even if it does become infected and needs to be pulled we can go through the steps knowing that we did everything possible leading up to that day.