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Root canal/crown or extraction.

A month ago, I had my 5 year old son to a dentist who said that he had 2 cavities (no xray was taken).  Saturday, I took him to another dentist closer to my home for a new patient exam.  An xray was taken and the new dentist says the decay is close to the nerve, and wants to do a root canal and crown on the tooth.  It is closer to the front of his mouth, and I don't see putting him through that (or my wallet through that) for a tooth that will only be around another year or so anyway.  I know an extraction could affect how the incoming adult teeth align themselves, but I'm certain he'll need braces anyway, as both myself and my husband did.

Is extraction a feasible option?  If it were a molar that he'd have another 6 years or so, I could understand crowning it, but a front tooth?  It seems like a way to squeeze $ out of a panicked parent.
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Avatar universal
if i were you i would deffinatly extract the tooth. the problem with fixing childrens teeth is that they are going to come out and your son is around the age where most of his teeth should be out if not all. and if for some reason the dr does not get all of the decay that decay can affect his permenat teeth and they will come in needing the same thing done. but the decay that close the the nerve... depending on hoe close the perm. tooth is to the baby tooth it could already have a bit of decay already. a root canal and a crown are very expensive to be doing on a tooth that will be falling out very soon. if you plan to get him braces have the tooth extracted to prevent any possible decay to his adult teeth if it hasnt already. and that will give the adult tooth the space it needs to come in if it is close enough any ways.
it is the cheapest way to go and the safest route as well but that is my opinion. crowns normally cost around $200-$700 and a root canal is $1000 procedure. insurance companys may not even cover it because it is a baby tooth and will be coming out soon. but they should cover an extraction.
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Avatar universal
Do you have an idea why decay is such a problem? This needs to be addressed first. Oral B has a great electric toothbrush everyone in the family can use and they have special brush heads for peds. In case hygiene is an issue. The decay to be at the level as indicated by the second dentist, shows it has been present for some time since this was not surface decay. Not to imply you are caring for your child properly, I know how it can be getting small children to brush regularly.  Quite the challenge sometimes!!

My personal opinion (not a recommendation)... I personally agree with your concerns about the expense for the work mentioned and the time the tooth will remain in the mouth.  Is there a permanent tooth present that will erupt later in the area?  This affects decisions on extraction. Your child will most likely need an ortho consult by age 7. 

The other thing is... The dentist stated it was "close" to the nerve and did not state it had "invaded" it. This was key to me.

If it were my child... I would opt at this time to have restorations performed on the affected tooth and monitor the response.   You did not mention if your child was experiencing any pain. Should a root canal be necessary, then you at least can say you tried.  

The first dentist did not apparently feel so much work was needed, just restorations???  You did not provide his recommendations. This should be considered as well.  He must not have felt the level of decay warranted a RC and crown.  

Not to detour you from anyone's recommendation for treatment as they have seen your child and given their professional opinions. You simply have two different opinions that should be weighed carefully.  

Hope this helps
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