Most baby teeth come out automatically without dental intervention. However, in some cases, you may need a little help to remove a stubborn baby tooth. Extractions are often necessary when the baby teeth are decayed or damaged or when they get in the way of the newly-erupting permanent teeth. When that happens, leaving the baby teeth in place can affect the overall oral health or cause misalignment issues.
Nova Children’s Dentistry is a state-of-the-art pediatric dental clinic where we use the most comfortable and painless techniques to remove your child’s baby tooth. We also provide excellent follow-up care to maintain oral health and save space for permanent teeth. Please schedule a consultation at our offices in Ashburn and South Riding, VA, if you need help with dental extractions.
When are teeth extractions necessary for children?
- When the tooth is severely damaged because of injuries or trauma.
- When the tooth is severely decayed because of bacteria.
- When the baby tooth blocks the permanent tooth from coming out comfortably, leading to misalignment problems and overcrowding.
- When a tooth leads to overcrowding in the mouth, necessitating an extraction to restore optimal alignment.
What happens during a tooth extraction?
Tooth extraction in children is usually pretty simple and far less involved than extractions in adults. Your pediatric dentist will take an x-ray to examine the affected tooth’s underlying root structure and bone condition. Depending on the condition of the tooth and the surrounding bone, the pediatric dentist will recommend a simple or surgical extraction.
The following is an overview of the two types of tooth extraction.
- Simple Extraction: After administering a local anesthetic, the pediatric dentist removes the affected tooth with forceps. The forceps grab the tooth, rotate it out of the ligaments, and pull it out.
- Surgical Extraction: Surgical extraction is only recommended in rare cases when the tooth is lodged within the jawbone. The pediatric dentist may have to remove some of the gum tissues to loosen and extract the tooth. This is usually performed with sedation dentistry to alleviate the child’s anxieties.
Baby teeth are considered placeholders for permanent teeth. They hold the space until the permanent teeth erupt, helping the jawbone grow optimally. If the baby tooth is removed too early, the permanent tooth might come out crooked, leading to alignment problems. As such, the pediatric dentist may recommend a dental crown or other restoration to save space for adult teeth.
What should we do after the extraction?
- Don’t be scared of a little bleeding after the extraction — it’s perfectly normal.
- Avoid rinsing the mouth for 24 hours to protect the blood clot in the gums.
- After the first 24 hours, help the child rinse their mouth with salt water to keep the area clean.
- Apply an ice pack on the child’s cheeks to reduce swelling.
- The pediatric dentist may recommend some children’s pain medications, such as ibuprofen, to reduce discomfort.
- Call the pediatric dentist if you notice an increase in temperature or excessive swelling.
- Make the child eat soft foods for a week, avoiding hard or crunchy foods.
- Ensure your child drinks plenty of water.