In many cases, the loss of a child’s first tooth is a big milestone. Baby teeth usually come out on their own, but sometimes they may need to be extracted.
When Pediatric Tooth Extractions Are Necessary
There are several circumstances when baby teeth extraction is the best course of action, such as these:
- The tooth is decayed and cannot be improved in any way.
- The tooth is badly damaged following an injury.
- Baby teeth are still in place even after adult teeth have erupted. To reduce the chances that orthodontic treatment will be needed in the future, baby teeth should be extracted to create enough space for the adult teeth to form well.
- Where the teeth are crowded, a tooth may be extracted so that the others can be straightened.
What Baby Teeth Extraction Involves
The procedure for children’s tooth extraction is quite straightforward:
1. Dental X-Ray
A dental X-ray is done to show the actual position of the root and the bone where the tooth is attached. Not all pediatric dentists will perform an X-ray, especially where a previous one has shown that the child’s teeth development is progressing as it should.
2. Tooth Extraction
For the tooth extraction itself, if it is a simple extraction, only a local anesthetic is used. The tooth is then extracted using forceps. The dentist rotates and moves the tooth to separate the ligaments attaching the tooth to the jawbone.
Where the tooth has completely decomposed, the dentist may also have to remove some gum tissue near the tooth. For this and other difficult extractions, the child is sedated using an IV. Sedation is considered safe for both adults and children.
Care After Tooth Extraction
Your child may experience a little bleeding in the mouth after the tooth is extracted. This is completely normal. Immediately after the tooth is extracted, the dentist places sterile gauze on the gap left after extracting the tooth to absorb any blood.
For the difficult extractions where some gum tissue is removed, the dentist may need to do some stitching. The stitches work to help the affected area heal faster. After stitching, a blood clot will form over the scar.
The clot prevents the jawbone from getting exposed to food, air and liquids, which can be quite painful. Care should be taken to ensure this clot stays in place as the gums and surrounding tissues heal. These care tips can help ensure everything heals as it should:
- Your child should avoid rinsing their mouth for at least 24 hours. After this duration has passed, a salt and water solution can be used to clean the area.
- Ibuprofen may be used to relieve any pain, and an ice pack placed outside the jaw may also help numb any pain and reduce swelling.
- Observe your child following tooth extraction and be on the lookout for infections, which may be indicated by excessive swelling, a high fever or both. In such circumstances, the dentist may recommend an antibiotic.
- After baby teeth extraction, soft foods should be given for at least a week to allow enough time for the gums to heal and ensure the protective clot stays in place.
- Be sure your child stays hydrated and maintains routine tooth care, while being extremely careful around the extraction site.
Pediatric Dental Services at Alpen Dental
Regardless of whether your child needs a simple or surgical tooth extraction, at Alpen Dental, we have caring and compassionate dentists who ensure the treatment is as safe as possible.
We offer IV sedation for all dental procedures and go over every aspect of this treatment so that you are fully informed beforehand.
Visit Our Team at Alpen Dental Today
We welcome you to contact us for an appointment at either our Blackfalds or Rimbey locations.