Local dentist discusses pediatric visits after Texas toddler’s dental death

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The death of a baby girl who died after receiving dental treatment in Austin has left a lot of parents asking questions.

The Travis County Medical Examiner’s office says 14-month-old Daisy Lynn Torres was taken to the North Austin Medical Center following a procedure at the dental office.

(Courtesy: KXAN/Torres family)
(Courtesy: KXAN/Torres family)

A fundraising site for the family says Torres went in for a routine cavity filling and was put under anesthesia, and then she quit breathing.

“Well it’s very sad. I couldn’t imagine losing a child that young if I was a family member,” Dr. David Snodgrass expressed to News 2.

Dr. Snodgrass has been a pediatric dentist for 30 years.

“Last year we sedated over 75-hundred children in all five of our offices very safely and very successfully.”

During News 2’s visit, Dr. Snodgrass had two kids sedated.

“We will sedate children, but it’s very very mild.”

He says if the child is too little, they will do the procedure in the hospital.

“It’s very dangerous when you are sedating children under 30 pounds,” Snodgrass explained.

He says it’s not uncommon for a baby to get a cavity and adds that it’s important for a baby to see a pediatric dentist as soon as they get teeth.

Dr. David Snodgrass (Photo: WKRN)
Dr. David Snodgrass (Photo: WKRN)

“As soon as the first tooth erupts around six months but no later than one year of age.”

Some factors that can affect teeth early on; water without fluoride, pacifiers and milk, which can cause decay.

“The parents need to wipe the film from the mouth and wipe the teeth off after every feeding if possible,” said Dr. Snodgrass.

He also explained that treating cavities on baby teeth is important, as they set the foundation for permanent teeth. However, if the child is too young, they wouldn’t put them in a life threatening situation.

“If we had a 14-month-old that just had a very mild cavity, we would probably just watch the cavity, place fluoride varnish on it for a while, trying to get some more age and more weight on the patient,” he explained, adding, “It just goes to show you that anything could happen at any time, and if you are a dentist that going to sedate a child you need to be prepared for any type of situation.”

The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners is investigating the death of the 14-month-old toddler. The cause of death is pending the outcome of an autopsy.

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