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Rise in preschool cavities prompts anesthesia use

from The New York Times

The number of preschoolers requiring extensive dental work suggests that many other parents make the same mistake. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted an increase, the first in 40 years, in the number of preschoolers with cavities in a study five years ago. But dentists nationwide say they are seeing more preschoolers at all income levels with six to 10 cavities or more. The level of decay, they added, is so severe that they often recommend using general anesthesia because young children are unlikely to sit through such extensive procedures while they are awake. There is no central clearinghouse for data on the number of young children undergoing general anesthesia to treat multiple cavities, but interviews with 20 dentists and others in the field of dental surgery suggest that the problem is widespread. more


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