Surgical tooth extraction is a dental procedure that most people associate as an ‘adult only’ procedure but sometimes children need to have teeth removed, too. Discover some of the reasons why Dr. Lindsay may recommend that your child have certain teeth surgically removed.
Severe Tooth Decay
Mild to moderate tooth decay can often be treated with dental fillings or root canals, but if the tooth decay is too severe sometimes the only option available to dentists is extraction. Tooth extraction for severe tooth decay is only recommended when the damage to the tooth’s enamel is so severe that other dental restoration methods, such as fillings or crowns, either cannot be performed or have a good chance of failing.
Preparing for Orthodontic Treatment
Teeth will need space in order to shift and move into their proper position during orthodontic treatment. Sometimes your child may have enough space in their mouth to allow the teeth to move on their own during orthodontic treatment, other times a dentist will need to create that extra space.
Extracting certain teeth several months before orthodontic treatment starts will allow for enough space to be created so the teeth can shift and move into their proper position.
Permanent Teeth Grow in Faster Than Baby Teeth Fall Out
Baby teeth are supposed to naturally fall out as permanent teeth grow in. That doesn’t always happen.
For some children, their permanent teeth will grow in and their baby teeth will remain in place. While this doesn’t sound like a big deal, it can cause a lot of problems. Everything from cavities to improperly aligned teeth and damage to surrounding teeth can occur if permanent teeth grow in and baby teeth fail to fall out.
In order to avoid problems, if it appears as if your child’s baby teeth are not falling out and the permanent teeth are growing in, Dr. Lindsay may recommend having the baby teeth extracted.
Teeth that are Too Damaged from Injury or Disease
A minor crack or chip in a tooth can be repaired with a filling or a dental crown, but if the damage is too extreme a tooth extraction may be needed. Teeth can become damaged due to injury or accidents or from dental problems such as teeth grinding or tooth decay.
Learning More about Dental Extractions
Dentists have two options available to them when it comes to extracting teeth. The first option that is available is known as a simple extraction. A simple extraction is often used to remove teeth that are fully erupted.
Simple extraction involves taking a dental device known as an “elevator” and raising the tooth up. Once the tooth is raised, dental forceps can be used to remove the tooth. The entire procedure can usually be done with local anesthetic. However, if more than one tooth is being extracted a dentist may recommend sedation.
The other dental extraction option is surgical extraction. Surgical extraction is needed when the tooth is partially covered by the jaw bone. It is typically done using a combination of local anesthetic and sedation.
Surgical tooth extraction is more time intensive, involved, and painful. There is also a longer recovery period.
A number of different factors will be considered when determining what type of tooth extraction needs to be performed. Factors Dr. Lindsay will consider include:
- Location of the tooth or teeth being removed
- Growth of the tooth – if the tooth is firmly embedded in the jaw bone it will need to be removed surgically
- Comfort level of the child
- Age of the child
- Number of teeth being removed
If you believe your child is in need of having a tooth removed, it is important to schedule an appointment with an experienced pediatric dentist. Dr. Lindsay will be able to tell you if the tooth needs to be extracted or if there are other – less invasive – treatment options that may be available.
Looking for a pediatric dentist? Let Ponte Vedra Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics help you. Dr. Lindsay will help you explore treatment options for your child. Call our office today to schedule an appointment.