Why Teeth Are Extracted
Here are reasons children’s teeth might need extraction:
- Trauma. Sometimes children’s teeth experience traumatic damage that can’t be repaired.
- Crowding. Mouths with crowded teeth can be hard to keep clean. When plaque and tartar build up, this can lead to dental, speaking, and eating problems. Crowding of baby teeth can also damage permanent teeth.
- Infection. Severe tooth infection is dangerous to the child’s health and very painful. Extraction can stop the infection from spreading to neighboring teeth.
How Teeth Are Extracted
There are two methods for extracting children’s teeth:
- Simple Extractions. When the tooth is above the gum line and easy to grip, simple extractions can take place. The child’s tooth is numbed using a local anesthetic. Then, it is loosened with a device called an elevator before being removed by forceps.
- Surgical Extractions. When the tooth is below or partially below the gum, the dentist numbs the tooth and then makes a small incision in the gum line before loosening and extracting the tooth.
Pain Control During Extraction
Most extractions are completed under local anesthetic. This numbs the pain and most children only feel a sensation of pressure during the procedure. If a child is very nervous, he or she can be gently sedated before the tooth extraction.
Recovery After Tooth Extraction
Most children quickly recover after tooth extraction. They may experience bruise-like tenderness for a couple of days, and this can be managed with over-the-counter pain relief. For more severe pain after a difficult extraction, the dentist might prescribe stronger medication. Most children are completely recovered within 7-14 days.
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