The primary teeth of your child are much more vulnerable to dental problems than adult teeth. Even with the best preventative care your child’s teeth can become severely decayed or broken and require tooth extraction from a pediatric dentist. Tooth extraction is the removal of the tooth from its socket in the jawbone using extraction instruments like the forceps or elevators. For your child this may be a scary experience, but educating your child may alleviate some anxiety surrounding the experience.
Generally x-rays are taken to assess the position of the tooth and the bone structure. A simple extraction is performed to remove a visible tooth. Here the tooth and the surrounding area are numbed by a local anesthetic. The dentist may apply a flavorful topical numbing ointment over the gums, and might possibly opt for a shot as well. He/she will then move the tooth back and forth with the forceps and remove it. However, if the tooth is impacted the dentist will have to remove some of the gum tissue to visibly locate the tooth and then extract it. In this case the dentist may give your child nitrous oxide or administer a stronger sedation through IV.
Your child may need a tooth extraction if he/she
- Complains of a tooth that is painful or sore
- Complains of tooth sensitivity and exhibit facial swelling
- Has cracked, dislodged or partially removed teeth
- Suffers from bleeding or visibly inflamed gums surrounding a damaged tooth
Generally dentists aim at protecting and repairing your child’s natural smile, but there are circumstances when the removal of your child’s tooth is necessary and may even be beneficial for the child’s overall health and development. While it is always a last resort, the dentist may determine that your child needs a tooth extraction if
- It is cracked or broken and cannot be repaired
- It is severely decayed or infected resulting in abscess
- There is significant trauma to the jaw
- The tooth hinders orthodontic treatment
- There is prominent cavity damage noticeable to the naked eye
- The smile is overcrowded or severely crooked
- There is an impacted wisdom tooth that may cause trouble later on
- It poses threat to the proper growth and development of the permanent teeth
The Risks Involved
Loss of space, intense pain, prolonged bleeding, infection, numbness, dry socket, and difficulty in opening and closing the mouth are the possible complications that may arise after a tooth extraction.
Primary teeth serve important functions of maintaining space for permanent dentition, mastication of food for nutrition and speech development. Hence, your child’s dentist may place a prosthesis to maintain the space needed for proper eruption of the permanent teeth.
If a tooth extraction is recommended for your child, do not transfer unnecessary anxiety or fear. Instead make your child feel comfortable and relaxed. Make sure your child has a positive approach towards dental health. Give your child the gift of confidence! Give your little one more reasons to smile! Yes, don’t let your kids fall victim to teeth problems, instead gift them miles of happy smiles!