At Puyallup Pediatric Dentistry, we do all we can to keep your child’s teeth healthy. However, there are some instances in which one of your child’s teeth may need to be extracted. There are several reasons why their tooth may need to be extracted, but whatever the reason, we will do everything we can to ensure that your child is comfortable and that the procedure goes as smoothly as possible.
Why Might Your Child’s Tooth Need to Come Out?
There are several reasons your child’s tooth may need to be extracted:
|•||Your child has experienced dental trauma or an infection. When their tooth experiences damage or the interior has become infected, we will do everything possible to save it. In some cases, a crown may be enough, or the tooth may need a root canal. However, there are some instances when neither of these treatments will help.
|•||Your child needs orthodontic work done. If their teeth are overcrowded, orthodontic braces can help to align them properly. In some cases, however, one or more teeth may need to be extracted first to create sufficient space. The teeth most frequently extracted are the first premolars.
|•||Your child has impacted wisdom teeth. X-rays allow us to monitor the health and development of their mouth. These x-rays also allow us to see how their teeth are developing. If their wisdom teeth are showing signs of being impacted, we may suggest early removal to prevent serious damage to the adjacent teeth. We do not perform wisdom teeth extractions, rather we are happy to refer our patients to an oral surgeon.
|•||Your child has a stubborn baby tooth. For developing permanent teeth to erupt properly, the baby tooth must first come out. Sometimes, however, the baby tooth does not budge. In this instance, removing the baby tooth is in their best interest and can help to prevent the need for orthodontic work later on.|
How Is an Extraction Done?
There are two types of extraction. X-rays will allow us to properly assess your child’s situation and determine the best course of action. For most teeth, a simple extraction is enough. This can usually be done under just a local anesthetic. An elevator is used to expand the socket, and loosen the tooth from the periodontal ligaments that hold it in place. Then, forceps are used to easily pull the tooth free.
If your child has an impacted tooth or one with severe damage below the gum line, a surgical extraction may be required. We do not perform surgical extractions, but are happy to refer you to a local oral surgeon.
What to Expect After
Immediately following the extraction, we will place sterile gauze over the extraction site, and your child is advised to apply gentle pressure to hold it in place. It is perfectly normal for your child to experience some pain following their procedure. Over the counter pain relievers should be enough to help ease this pain. If not please call our office. You can apply ice packs, wrapped in a towel, to the cheek on and off for 20 minutes at a time during the first 24 hours to help minimize swelling. It can also help numb pain. Finally, be sure to feed your child soft foods for at least the first 24 hours following their extraction, and make sure that they are careful when they brush their teeth.
Whether your child’s baby tooth is being stubborn, or one of their teeth has sustained damage, sometimes extractions are necessary. For more information, or to schedule a consultation for your child, contact Puyallup Pediatric Dentistry today at (253) 466-1696!