Baby Tooth Extraction
Sometimes, child tooth extraction may even be performed on the very young.
Most parents expect their children’s baby teeth to naturally start falling out around the age of 5, leading way to the growth of permanent adult teeth. However, at times, a dentist may recommend removal of baby teeth due to:
- The baby tooth being decayed beyond repair.
- The baby tooth experiencing trauma or injury.
- The baby tooth (or teeth) has NOT fallen out on its own and is crowding the growth of the new adult teeth (potentially eliminating the need for orthodontic treatment in the future).
- The baby tooth needs to be removed prior to orthodontic care treatment to prevent interference in treatment.
Baby teeth typically have shallower roots that require minimal effort on your dentist’s behalf to remove. Baby teeth play an important role in saving space for adult teeth. If a child tooth extraction is necessary for baby teeth, our dentist may suggest the use of a prosthetic tooth to act as a spacer until the adult tooth is ready to come in.
Adult Teeth Extractions
We try to avoid extracting adult teeth as much as possible as the procedure can lead to additional treatments such as an implant. However, there are times when a child tooth extraction must be performed on the adult tooth. The tooth may be damaged beyond repair and should be removed. Prior to extracting any adult teeth our pediatric dentist will perform X-rays to analyze the tooth’s roots and bone condition. At this time, we will also discuss with you, the parent, (and with your child if they are old enough to participate), the best sedation method. This could be a local anesthetic, laughing gas, or even full sedation.
Wisdom Teeth Removal in Kids and Teens
Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of four molars that typically appear between the ages of 17 and 25 (with the first two set of molars appearing at ages 6 and 14 respectively). Wisdom teeth can and sometimes do make an earlier appearance in teenagers. An X-ray can usually spot wisdom teeth forming below the gum by the age of 12. Even if the crown or tip of the wisdom tooth may erupt at an early age the root portion of the wisdom tooth is likely still forming below.
Why Does My Child Need Their Wisdom Teeth Removed?
A child tooth extraction for wisdom teeth may be something your dentist recommends. The most common age to have wisdom teeth removed is between 16 and 20. Some children require their wisdom teeth removed as early as 12 years and other children are well into their adult years before needing to consider wisdom teeth removal.
Regular dental check-ups and X-rays can help monitor wisdom teeth growth and identify potential reasons for wisdom teeth removal, which may include:
- Impacted Teeth – Wisdom teeth can become impacted and may not have enough space in the back of the mouth to come in normally, causing them to be stuck in the jawbone. This can cause significant pain and discomfort for your child.
- Wrong Angle – Wisdom teeth can sometimes come in at the wrong angle and press against other molars.
- Not Enough Space – The jaw, particularly of a younger teenager, may not physically have enough room for this final set of molars so a child tooth extraction may be necessary.
- Cavities or Gum Disease – Since located so far back in the mouth, wisdom teeth can be hard to properly brush and floss, allowing for plaque buildup. Over time, this can lead to decay.
- Orthodontic Work – If braces are in your teenager’s future, your Orthodontist may suggest having their wisdom teeth removed first to avoid the risk of the final molars coming in during their treatment and disrupting the treatment plan.
Note: A very small percentage of people will NOT need their wisdom teeth removed. Studies now show that young patients who choose to have their wisdom teeth removed early on are less likely to develop significant oral health problems (cavities, cysts, periodontal disease, etc.). Young patients are also less likely to develop significant complications from wisdom tooth removal surgery as they are more resilient. They typically have easier recoveries than if they were to wait until they were older. Plus, it can be easier to plan ahead to pull your child from school to have a child tooth extraction done on their wisdom teeth. This is better than waiting until they are in University or the workforce when it may not be as convenient or as easy to take time off to have the dental surgery.
Follow Up Care for A Child Tooth Extraction
The mouth heals very quickly, particularly for young ones. It is normal to have some bleeding after a child tooth extraction, which can be treated with sterile gauze. It is best to avoid rinsing the mouth for 24 hours. This ensures that the blood clot that forms over the affected area stays in tact and helps to prevent the risk of dry socket. Dry socket occurs when the hole in the gum and bone where the tooth once was is exposed and becomes infected.
In some child tooth extraction procedures a few stitches may be required to promote proper healing. These stitches will dissolve after a few days and should NOT be pulled out by you or your child.
It is important that your child avoids eating for the specified period of time given by your dentist. Your child should not drink from a straw or spit vigorously as this too can cause the blood clot to dislodge and dry socket to form.
To help with any pain or discomfort you can administer Children’s Tylenol or Ibuprofen or the pain treatment plan administered by your dentist. Ice packs can reduce swelling and plenty of rest will help your child feel like themselves again. Our dentists may also prescribe an antibiotic if there is a risk of infection developing.
Following a child tooth extraction, you should help your child continue with their normal oral hygiene routines such as brushing and flossing. Please help them to take special care around the affected area.
Healthline.com also offers a number of Tips for Tooth Extraction Aftercare.
Sedation Options for A Child Tooth Extraction
Tooth extractions, and wisdom teeth removal in particular, can be an invasive surgery for young patients. For adult molars and wisdom teeth it can include cutting the tooth, gum or bone to get the tooth out. It may also require stitches to help the wounds heal quickly. In the case of invasive removals or where the patient is young or particularly nervous, Keswick Kids Dental offers sedation dentistry and full sleep dentistry options. If you would like to learn more, please contact us.
Direct Billing, No Referral Needed!
At Keswick Kids Dental Clinic, we accept all toddlers, children, and teenagers as patients for a child tooth removal – no referral is needed! Our office offers both direct billing to your insurance provider as well as interest free payment plans. This is a great alternative if you are without insurance or find the care your child needs falls outside of your coverage.