A tooth extraction can be scary at any age. Our team uses a gentle hand through every step for a procedure that’s as a simple and painless as possible. Our office is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and amenities to ease an extraction. We provide modern sedation dentistry options, and your child can entertain themselves with a movie or show to distract from any nerves. We’ll walk you and your child through the tooth extraction process so there’s nothing to fear during their visit.
Why Do Baby Teeth Need Extraction?
Baby teeth will fall out naturally. Even so, extractions are occasionally necessary to protect your child’s oral, systemic health and well-being.
Deep cavities that result from untreated tooth decay are the most common cause of tooth extractions. To treat teeth with cavities, the damaged area is removed and then restored. When the cavity grows large enough, the tooth doesn’t have enough healthy structure left after removal to support fillings or a dental crown. If this is the case, a tooth extraction may be the best option to save your child from infection or lasting pain.
Most children will lose all their baby teeth around age 12. If a severely decayed tooth is left alone for an extended period, the bacteria can spread and cause oral and systemic infections. This could lead to more pain, infection, and in some cases facial swelling or oral abscess. In these cases, especially when the tooth isn’t close to falling out on its own, pulling the tooth is preferred to let your child’s permanent/adult teeth develop in a healthy way.
Tooth Extraction Procedure Expectations
To start the procedure, a topical anesthetic gel is applied to the soft tissue around the tooth where the anesthesia will be applied to numb the area. Oral conscious sedation is another option taken as a pill before their visit. They’ll be awake and responsive to directions, but feel relieved of any pre-extraction nerves. The tooth is gently loosened and then lifted out of place. The area around the socket is cleaned, and then gauze is applied to control bleeding. We’ll take our time to explain how to reapply packing at-home and medication may be recommended for a painless healing process.
Tooth Extraction Aftercare
After a tooth extraction, there may be some swelling and soreness. Provide your child the over-the-counter pain medication recommended to control the pain, and follow the steps below to promote healing and prevent infection:
- Avoid eating for around 2 hours after the procedure for the numbness to wear off.
- Regularly replace gauze packing to keep the socket clean while it heals.
- Apply an ice pack for 20 minutes at a time against the cheek to control swelling.
- Avoid sipping on straws or spitting to avoid loosening the blood clot.
- Provide softer foods during healing like scrambled eggs, soups, smoothies, and yogurt.
- Use an extra pillow to keep your child’s head elevated while they sleep.
Compassionate Care at Aviator Pediatric Dentistry
Our team is available to provide guidance for you and your child’s complete peace of mind. We encourage you to bring any questions to our attention during or after your visit. To schedule your child’s next dental visit, contact us today to set up an appointment.