The cost of treating ECC in the traditional way, often requiring extensive dental care at an early age, is enormous.  In addition to the expenses of dental restorations, extractions and space maintainers, such treatment often requires general anesthesia or deep sedation because young children lack the ability to cope with the procedures.  The U.S. Medical Expenditures Survey found that in 2010, children under age 5 had dental expenditures $1.55 billion in that year.  A study of just the general anesthesia costs in New York State to facilitate dental treatment for children with ECC found an average cost of $5,471 per case in 2008. It such costs are extrapolated to 2014 dollars, the current cost per case exceeds $7,000. 

Several studies of hospital emergency department visits have reported on non-traumatic dental treatment or preventable dental conditions among young children.  A California study of emergency department visits from 2005 to 2007 showed that the rate for preventable dental visits to the emergency department for those 0-5 years of age was 203 per 100,000 in 2007.