Does a child’s molar HAVE to be removed?

My son has an infected molar.  The dentist is recommending it be extracted. Is that necessary before they even try a treatment?

Olivia M. – Massachusetts


Adult tooth infections can often be treated with a root canal.  children’s teeth can sometimes be treated with a similar procedure called a pulpotomoy. However, with molars this never works.  If the tooth is infected it will have to be extracted.

Make sure your pediatric dentist also places a space maintainer where the tooth was.  It will be many years until his adult molar comes in.  You don’t want his teeth tipping or shifting into that place.  It will cause crowding and other orthodonitic problems later on.

You also don’t want to leave the infection.  It will spread and cause other serious problems.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentists Drs. Kevin and Hillary Peck.


Do my teeth have to be shaved? I got lumineers so they didn’t.

I purposefully told my dentist I wanted lumineers because I was told they were no prep. Now my dentist said he’ll need to shave my teeth. That is not what was advertised.  Did Lumineers lie about the non-prep or my dentist about needing to shave my teeth?

Douglass D.- Montana


Neither are lying to you.  Lumineers can be placed without any tooth preparation. The advertisements are true. However, as is true with many things in life, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.

If your dentist is telling you he’ll need to do preparation on your tooth, he has a reason.  It’s likely that your smile would look bulky and unnatural without some tooth preparation.

Though you may have heard the term shaving, that sounds much worse than it is.  In reality, it removes about the depth of your fingernail. In fact, there is so little tooth structure removed from a ttoh, that you can’t tell the difference by looking.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentists Drs. Kevin and Hillary Peck.

Free dentistry at dental schools?

I’ve heard that you can get free dentistry at dental schools. Is that true? How do you find them?

Mark A. – Little Rock, AR


Many dental schools will do cleanings and check ups at a significantly discounted price.  Not all of them will do any other type of dental work, so you may find that while you can get your teeth cleaned at their clinic, if they discover a problem, you will still need to see a professional dental clinic. That doesn’t mean it has to cost you a fortune.

There are affordable dentists out there who do quality work.  Some advertise as affordable dentists and some don’t, but are willing to work with you financially if you speak with them ahead of time.  Communication with your dentist is the key.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentists Drs. Kevin and Hillary Peck.