Baby Tooth Extractions
For many reasons, a patient might require a baby tooth to be extracted (removed). This can be due to injury, decay, infection, or orthodontic reasons, among others. We might recommend baby tooth removal during a routine or scheduled office visit, by a referral from an outside dentist, or even completed during a same-day appointment in emergency situations. Radiographs are needed for most baby tooth extraction to evaluate the area of concern.
These appointments can be scary to children, so we will take every step to ensure your child’s safety and wellbeing. We may recommend nitrous oxide, sedation, or even a referral to an oral surgeon based on your child’s independent needs. Our pediatric dentists will help you decide what is best for your child.
What Are Baby Tooth Extractions?
A baby tooth extraction is the removal of a baby tooth. For many reasons, a patient might require a primary (baby) tooth to be extracted. This can be due to injury, decay, infection, or orthodontic reasons, among others. We might recommend baby tooth extraction during a routine cleaning visit, by a referral from an outside dentist, or even completed during a same-day appointment in emergency situations.
Baby tooth extractions often time seem very scary. While there are difficult situations that might complicate an extraction, most extractions are easier than placing a dental filling (restoration). The baby tooth will need anesthesia (numbing) to complete the procedure. Please allow our pediatric dentists and staff to prepare your child on the day of the appointment. We will use friendly terms and positive encouragement to help your child through the procedure.
Care for the extraction site after a baby tooth has been removed is usually very easy. We will give you instructions on limitations and site care on the day of your child’s appointment. It is important to take good care of this area to ensure proper healing and to help to limit the risk of infection.
Why do baby teeth need to be extracted?
Baby teeth may need to be extracted for several reasons. The most common reason is due to severe tooth decay (cavities). If a cavity gets large enough and approaches the nerve in the center of the tooth, it could lead to pain or infection. We might remove a baby tooth if a tooth is already bothersome to the patient, an infection already exists, or the tooth is at a risk for these problems. If an infection is left untreated, it can cause severe systemic issues and consequently negatively affect overall health. Additionally, untreated severely infected baby teeth can cause a disturbance to the developing permanent teeth.
A baby tooth might also need to be extracted due to orthodontic concerns such as crowding or if the baby tooth won’t fall out. Sometimes permanent teeth begin to erupt (come in) when the baby tooth is still present. If this happens, it is often harder for that baby tooth to fall out. By removing the baby tooth, we can allow for the permanent tooth to come in at a better position.
With the use of dental radiographs (x-rays), we are also able to see the developing permanent teeth and determine the size of decay or the presence of a dental infection. It is common for permanent teeth (most often the canines) to erupt (coming in) in the wrong direction or place. Extracting a baby tooth can allow for the adult tooth to begin moving in the right direction.
Less commonly, a baby tooth might need to be extracted due to injury. If a baby tooth is damaged severely, it might not have the possibility of being saved. These are difficult situations, and we will fight to keep all teeth when possible.
When a baby tooth needs to be removed early, there are times when a space maintainer might be indicated. A space maintainer (spacer) is a small retainer that stays in your child’s mouth to keep that space for the adult tooth to come in. Our pediatric dentists will help to determine if your child will need a space maintainer.
How are baby teeth extracted?
Baby tooth extractions often time seem scary. While there are difficult situations that might complicate an extraction, most extractions are easier than placing a dental filling (restoration). The baby tooth will need anesthesia (numbing) to complete the procedure. Please allow our pediatric dentists and staff to prepare your child on the day of the appointment. We will use friendly terms and positive encouragement to help your child through the procedure.
Often, we will recommend nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for baby tooth extractions. This helps to relax your child and helps to make the experience pain-free and enjoyable. It is important to thoroughly anesthetize (numb) the area around the tooth that will be removed. The laughing gas will help to make this part of the appointment much easier.
Before we numb a tooth, we will place numbing jelly on the gums. This will make the area numb to help to make the injection much easier. Our patients are usually numb for around an hour. You will need to make sure to watch your child during this time so they don’t bite any areas that might be numb.
After ensuring the patient is numb, we will use dental instruments to begin making the tooth loose. Sometimes it is difficult for patients to differentiate between the feeling of pressure (pushing) and pain. The feeling of pressure or pushing during an extraction is normal during the removal. However, if a patient experiences a sharp or pinching feeling, more anesthetic will be given. We want to make sure your child has a pain-free and positive appointment.
Some patients might benefit from having a baby tooth removed at an oral surgeon’s office. For patients with difficult or badly broken-down teeth, the oral surgeon might make the removal of the baby tooth easier. Patients can usually “go to sleep” and wake up with the tooth removed. This is especially beneficial for patients that might have a difficult experience having a tooth removed in our office. We never want our patients to have a negative appointment.
Care for the extraction site after a baby tooth has been removed is usually very easy. We will give you instructions on limitations and site care on the day of your child’s baby tooth extraction. It is important to take good care of this area to ensure proper healing and to help to limit the risk of infection.
Who benefits from baby tooth extractions?
For many reasons, a patient might benefit from a baby tooth extraction. Any patient in pain or with an infection, or at risk of pain or infection would benefit from the removal of a baby tooth. A patient with severe crowding or with baby teeth that won’t fall out might benefit from baby tooth extractions. A patient with a baby tooth that has suffered a severe injury might benefit from a baby tooth extraction. Our pediatric dentists will help to determine what is the best treatment for your child.
Where to get extractions?
Baby tooth extractions can be completed in our office or at an oral surgeon’s office. Our practice is well equipped to help your child with this type of procedure. We want to ensure that your child is safe and happy during their dental visits.