Tooth Extractions in Children
There are certain occasions when a child will need to have a tooth extracted. The most common causes of tooth extraction for children, include:
- Tooth decay is too extensive for restoration. Sometimes there is not a restorative treatment option for a tooth.
- Preparation and space management for orthodontic treatment
- Baby teeth fail to fall out before permanent teeth come in (this is called an over-retained baby tooth).
- Removal of teeth that are chipped or damaged beyond repair by dental disease or dental trauma
Our dentists will never recommend extraction if there is a less invasive treatment option. Make sure you understand why extraction is recommended and what the procedure involves for your child.
Baby tooth extraction: what to expect
Dental extractions are a surgical procedure where a dentist or an oral surgeon removes a tooth from the mouth. There are two types of extractions, simple and surgical. A simple extraction involves pulling a baby tooth that is clearly visible in the mouth. Dentists perform a simple extraction with a device called an “elevator,” which loosens the tooth, and then with forceps. These extractions normally will only call for a local anesthetic.
Parents, remember to restrict your child’s eating after surgery until all numbness is gone in order to avoid painful and damaging bites inside the mouth.
The other method of extraction is surgical extraction, which is required if the tooth is embedded in the jaw bone (fully impacted), or partially covered by jaw bone (partially impacted). Frequently, a surgical extraction can be performed with a local anesthetic and nitrous oxide. In some cases, IV sedation or general anesthesia will be recommended. Our dentists will work with you to determine the best type of service for your child and will help prepare you and your child for the procedure.
Post extraction, parents need to monitor their child’s behaviors and healing process. Aside from waiting to eat, kids need to avoid drinking from a straw or even spitting vigorously as this could dislodge the blood clot that forms in the dental office right after an extraction. Ice packs can be used in twenty minute intervals to decrease swelling. Over the counter pain medications can be used, but talk to your dentist about recommended dosage and duration.
Your child should continue with a regular oral hygiene routine, but be sure they are extremely careful around the area of the extraction. With proper and gentle care, recovery from an extraction should be very quick.