21 January 2013

A crowning achievement

On a recent trip to the dentist, [Alecia] White discovered that little Savannah had four cavities. So, White allowed the dentist to fill them.

"They took her back and I was allowed to go back when they sedated her and after she was sedated, they had me go back out to the waiting room," White said.

White brought her groggy, little girl home when the procedure was done and let her take a nap. However, when Savannah woke up and White looked in her mouth, she saw that every single tooth, top and bottom, were [sic] capped with stainless-steel crowns...

White wanted to know if a mouth full of stainless-steel crowns is normal for a child. So, 3 On Your Side consulted Dr. Richard Chaet, who's been in dentistry for more than 30 years...

Chaet claimed that although it looks bizarre, all of those caps were necessary to fill Savannah's cavities and to save other teeth that were probably deteriorating.

"This is a child who is obviously very high risk for decay," Chaet said.

He went on to say that some dentists probably would have gone a step further by putting on white veneers to cover a lot of those silver caps even if the patient couldn't afford it. Chaet said a lot of dentists would have done it free of charge because children are sensitive about how they feel and look.

And that's exactly what happened to Savannah. Another dentist who actually saw Savannah's teeth offered to put on those veneers free of charge.
Text and image from AZFamily, where the comment thread is long (and vehement).


  1. Recently, there was an investigation (forget the network) into a chain of dental clinics that were overly prescribing silver crowns for children and racking up the bills big time. Surprised (perhaps not) that this hasn't come up...

  2. More info:



  3. I was curious as to whether the child had gone to one of those centers for low income children where there is financial incentive to crown baby teeth.

    However, I also wonder why this little one is missing multiple front teeth at the age of four. Were the others so decayed they had to be removed?

    My children are grown now, but we were fortunate that we had the pediatric dentist that we did. All parents were welcome back- his center had all the chairs out in the open, no closed doors. Parents in the waiting room could see through glass panels. He handled difficult cases with kindness-children who had severe dental problems due to physical disabilities were treated at the local hospital under general anesthesia- something he didn't want to do in the office.

  4. I have to ask why didn't the dentist explain exactly what he was going to do? Any doctor that doesn't tell you what they are going to do during surgery and the potential problems that could occur should be avoided.

  5. I took my kids to a highly recommended children's dentist. one day my youngest came out in tears. She was 11, so it was quite surprising. She complained that he had really hurt her. The dentist told us she had 11 cavities, many of them requiring extensive work. I took her to my own dentist, and he didn't find any cavities at all. Not too much later, the dentist died, apparently from an overdose of cocaine.

  6. This is not normal. I have a child who is prone to cavities because of being on antibiotics so much when he was younger. They filled the cavities that needed it, put sealants on, and watched others. They took xrays to see how close the adult teeth were and if they were close they didn't do anything to the baby tooth. There are different types of prescription and non prescription fluorides and other treatments to help strengthen teeth. Cavities take time to develop and there is no need to go to such extremes to protect baby teeth in the large majority of kids.

    No matter what, the dentist should not have done that without consulting the parent. She could have gotten a second opinion.

  7. My son has two crowns and two fillings; he is 3. We found the problem at his very first dental appointment. The pediatric dentist said that when baby teeth are developing in utero, a trauma to the mother can cause enamel to improperly form and the child becomes more prone to tooth decay.

    I believe this is the condition: http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-enamel-hypoplasia.htm

    The girl could have had a severe form of it.

    The reason my child had crowns is because the permanent teeth in the back of your mouth do not show until age 12. If you just removed the teeth, then crowding with the permanent teeth would be a likely result.

    I did a LOT of research and saw two different dentists before allowing them to put crowns on my son's teeth.


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