Space Maintainers

My six-year-old daughter has two baby molars that broke off because of decay. Our dentist says that they are infected and need to be extracted. Is there anything else that can be done?
Kristina in Wisconsin

Kristina,
Unfortunately, when baby molars get infected, they do need to be extracted. Because of the shape of the roots, it isn’t possible to do root canal treatments on them, so extraction is the only way to get rid of the infection. Left untreated, the infection will end up affecting the permanent teeth that are developing below the baby molars.

Your dentist will also be wanting to put in space maintainers to help hold the space. At age six, her permanent first molars are about to come in behind the baby molars. Unless there is some kind of space maintainer, the permanent molars will drift forward which will block out the permanent premolars from coming in normally, and it could end up being quite a mess. So be sure you do that.

Click here to see our Cleveland pediatric dentist page.