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A member asked:

Is a cavity in a baby tooth worth filling? my daughter is 8 and losing most of her baby teeth. she has a cavity in one that will probably fall out soon. do i need to get this filled? i don't want to cause her any more pain than i have to.

8 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. G Funari
Dr. G Funarianswered
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 46 years experience
Several : Several factors come into play here. The age of the child, which tooth, the amount of decay in the tooth, can the tooth be restored. The only way to answer the question is to see you pediatric dentist for an exam. If you are sure the tooth is ready to fall out, it is probably a good idea to have pediatric dentist remove it before symptoms develop.
Dr. Gary Sandler
Dentistry 55 years experience
It : It depends on how deep the cavity is and how soon the tooth will fall out. Sometimes the answer is obvious and at other times it is not as clear cut. She might be in more pain from the cavity if left, rather than the dental procedure to repair it. Your dentist would be the best one to answer that question for you.
Dr. Peiman Soleymani
Specializes in Periodontics
It : It is best to see a pedodontist or a dentist. I would find out when the permanent tooth underneath it is coming out. You want to refrain from removing a baby tooth because it is simply cheaper. If a baby tooth comes out too early it will allow for the rest of the teeth to move and cause malalignment as your child jaw grows and that will have its own issues to deal with later. Good luck.
Dr. Ahmad Eslami
Periodontics 45 years experience
Baby teeth: Active cavity in the mouth is not a good thing. It can "infect" other teeth. Even if the tooth is expected to be in the mouth for a short period of time still its cavity should be somehow addressed. The options are: 1. Caries removal + temporary filling 2. Caries removal + regular filling 3. Extraction + space maintainer (to prevent pathologic migration of the existing teeth).
Dr. Michael Dolby
Cosmetic Surgery 29 years experience
Sometimes: Depending on the size of the cavity and the realistic time frame it will take lose this tooth will determine if you should correct the cavity or not. If the baby tooth will be gone in a month or so it should be fine to leave it as is. If it will be longer or the cavity can possibly damage other teeth, then it should be fixed.
Dr. I. Jay Freedman
Dentistry 44 years experience
Fill the tooth!: Some baby teeth are meant to stay in a child's mouth until about age 10 or 11. If the tooth you are referring to is one of those teeth, it is maintaining the space for that adult tooth. That is why it should be filled. In addition, in today's world of dental medicine, a filling should not cause any pain! see your dentist to determine when that tooth should be falling out. Than make your decision.
Dr. Manami Yamaguchi
Dentistry 26 years experience
Contagious!: Since an adult tooth is growing underneath the decayed baby tooth, if untreated the adult tooth gets infected by the same cavity-causing bacteria and can become decayed even before coming in. Same for other teeth in the mouth. It is critical that you treat (or remove, if not treatable) all decay, and keep home care to prevent future decay. Your girl needs a healthy set of adult teeth to be well.
Dr. Behram Dalal
32 years experience
Best to be seen: By her dentist asap. If the tooth is almost ready to fall out and the decay very extensive, the dentist might recommend extracting it versus filling it. Only an examination and x-ray can determine the best treatment option. Hope this helps.
Last updated Oct 3, 2016


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