Tooth extraction is the surgical removal of a tooth. It’s usually very fast. In fact, most of the time, the entire procedure for a child’s teeth extraction involves the child (and their parent) walking them through it, then numbing and making sure they are comfortable. The procedure itself takes approximately one minute.
The majority of primary tooth extractions are performed either with local anesthesia or with a combination thereof.
Tooth removals in children are often due to infections, crowding problems, and the failure of baby tooth roots to fall out by themselves.
Below the tooth’s hard outer layer lies a soft, gelatinous substance known as “dental pulp”. Infection can lead to tooth pain, tooth sensitivity, and redness. If it isn’t treated, the infection could spread to other teeth, possibly causing life-threatening complications.
Infected pulp can sometimes be treated with pediatric dental pulp therapy and the tooth may be saved. Sometimes, however, a severely infected primary tooth will need to be removed.
Primary (“baby”) teeth that are too close together can sometimes block permanent teeth from coming in. Two baby teeth may be crowded together in a space where a single permanent tooth can fit. The second baby tooth can be removed if a child loses one of these baby teeth.
Permanent teeth can cause crowding problems and may need to be extracted. Sometimes, the child’s jaw is too small to support all his or her permanent teeth. This is when one or more permanent teeth may need to be removed.
Sometimes, a child’s permanent tooth may grow in between the primary and secondary teeth. This is rather than growing from beneath the primary. Sometimes, this will keep the primary tooth from falling out by keeping it from getting loose.
The procedure is relatively painless and fast, but many children fear the process. Dr. Rose, a board-certified pediatric dental dentist has been specially trained in helping children understand and overcome their fears about tooth extraction.
Dr. Rose will explain to your child the procedure using appropriate language for your age and answer any questions. Many pediatric patients are more afraid of the needle used for the numbing agent than the actual tooth removal itself. Dr. Rose is skilled in calmly calming the fears of children about local anesthesia. She can also apply the numbing agent quickly, painlessly, and with minimal discomfort.
You can help your child’s extraction by being prepared in advance. You can talk to your child before the appointment to discuss what is going on at the dentist. The way you explain the procedure to your child can make a big difference in how they respond to it.