Pediatric dentists do everything possible to save a child’s tooth from being pulled, but there are some cases when removing a tooth is necessary.
What Is a Pediatric Tooth Extraction?
A pediatric tooth extraction is a simple dental procedure that involves taking out a tooth from the bone socket.
Reasons for Having a Pediatric Tooth Extraction
While your pediatric dentist will make the best effort to save a baby tooth, the most important concern is making sure the adult tooth that’s forming under the gum is not damaged. When there’s a possibility that the baby tooth may negatively affect the adult tooth, then a pediatric tooth extraction will be recommended. A tooth extraction may be needed due to dental trauma from a facial injury. Gum disease or tooth decay can also be reasons a tooth extraction is necessary. Orthodontic treatment may need a tooth extracted to make room for the realignment of misaligned teeth.
What Happens During the Pediatric Tooth Extraction Procedure?
First, you and your dentist will decide on the best option for anesthesia/sedation for your child. In most cases, single tooth anesthesia (STA) technology is used which provides a number of advantages for children. STA is a child-friendly alternative that does away with the need for a dental injection. Another benefit of STA is that the numbing effects happen only at the tooth and not the lip or face. This eliminates the risk of your child biting the lip during or after the extraction due to a lack of sensation. The other options for sedation, if STA is not appropriate, are nitrous oxide (laughing gas), in-office sedation or general anesthesia. Once your child is safely anesthetized, the dentist gently rocks the tooth back and forth to ease it out of the socket for simple removal. If the tooth is rigid and not easily rocked out, it may have to be removed in sections.
One important note: Don’t give your child any type of over-the-counter or prescription pain relief medication prior to the procedure, as it may interfere with the blood clotting after the extraction.
What to Do After the Procedure
There may be some discomfort after a pediatric tooth extraction, and applying ice to the area will provide pain relief as well as keep swelling to a minimum. A small piece of gauze will be applied to the area of the pediatric tooth extraction that should be held in place long enough for the blood to clot. Bleeding is common, but may last for only about a day. Keeping your child’s mouth clean is important during healing. Your child can rinse the mouth with salt water several times per day.
Children’s acetaminophen or ibuprofen should be already in the home for pain relief if needed. Your dentist may prescribe painkillers as well to keep your child comfortable after the pediatric tooth extraction is complete. Medication for pain relief should be given only after the blood clot has formed. Your child should eat soft foods, limit sucking (such as not using straws for drinking liquids), and limit any physical activity for the rest of the day. If any additional swelling occurs, or your child shows signs of a fever, call the dentist immediately as this could signal an infection.
If you’re interested in finding out more about children’s teeth extractions, make an appointment today with Park View Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics in NYC. We are dedicated to providing the highest level of care delivered with a gentle approach to help your child feel comfortable and calm during dental care visits.
Call (212) 879-6518 today or fill out the form on this page to request an appointment.