Being a parent, it is difficult to see our child in pain. Tooth pain is one such problem that many parents face in their children. Though with proper oral hygiene and care, many teeth-related issues can be prevented, however, there may be instances where your child’s tooth needs to be extracted. In this blog, you will get to know about tooth extraction in children and how parents can prepare their children for the process of tooth extraction. First of all, let us know about tooth extraction and why it is required?
What is tooth extraction?
Tooth extraction is a dental procedure in which one or more teeth are removed completely from the mouth. A certified dental surgeon usually performs this procedure. If you are wondering why this procedure is required, then it is important to note that a dentist may suggest the tooth extraction option to his patient in case of:
- A dental or gum abscess that has badly affected the root of the tooth.
- Tooth decay or periodontal disease has worsened the condition of teeth to the extent that they cannot be treated with other dental options like a root canal, crown, dental filling, etc.
- An injury or trauma has resulted in a broken or badly damaged tooth that is impossible to repair.
- Dental condition in which malocclusion or crowding of teeth occurs.
- Impaction of teeth (mostly wisdom teeth) blocks a tooth’s way to break through the gum.
Tooth extraction in children
A baby tooth extraction, also known as pediatric tooth extraction, is the most common children’s dentistry procedure. It is simply the surgical removal of a primary tooth. It is vital to note that milk teeth in children get removed on their own as a matter of course, to give way to permanent teeth and don’t need the intervention of a dentist. However, an extraction may be required if a child’s tooth gets severely damaged due to an injury or decay.
The most common type of tooth extraction in children is baby molars, as they are more prone to cavities as compared to front teeth. But if we talk about what is the easiest tooth extraction in children according to dentists, then it is the front tooth because they only have one root instead of multiple roots.
Reasons why children need a tooth extraction
Some of the key reasons for primary tooth extractions include:
Tooth Decay: Milk teeth are more prone to tooth decay issues that may result in extractions. The molars are most likely to get affected by cavities as the tooth enamel in children is very fragile. Tooth decay can also occur due to poor oral hygiene habits. If a severely decayed tooth with infected pulp is not treated on time, it can lead to more serious dental issues and diseases.
Trauma or Injury: A trauma or injury can also damage a child’s primary teeth badly. Various conditions like failed dental restorations, accidents, sports injuries, or falls can damage the teeth to the extent that extraction is the only option remaining to deal with such dental conditions. Many dental surgeons first try to save the tooth (although it completely depends on the severity of the damage) by using various procedures like a full-coverage crown or a pediatric pulp therapy, also known as a baby root canal. However, if the damage is extremely severe, the tooth has to be removed. It is usually replaced with a space maintainer till the time an adult tooth grows in.
Gingivitis: Severe gum diseases like gingivitis may also require a tooth extraction in children. Gingivitis usually results in inflammation in the gingival tissues, leading to swelling, redness, and even bleeding in the gums. If left untreated for long, the condition may take a severe form and lead to pediatric periodontal disease (PD), a dental disease that affects both the gums and jawbone. If a child is suffering from gingivitis and facing issues like severe bleeding, loose teeth, and receding gums, the dentist is likely to suggest tooth extractions, especially if the teeth do not fall out on their own.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth: Impacted wisdom teeth in children are a dental condition in which the molars are grown partially or get blocked under the gums. If not addressed on time, the chances of jaw misalignment and dental diseases increase. Therefore, if you notice the early signs of an impacted tooth or teeth in your child, you must see a dentist immediately. Often, the dentist suggests a tooth extraction procedure in case of impacted wisdom teeth to prevent future oral health issues such as root resorption, cavities, gum diseases, etc.
Over-retained baby teeth: Over-retained baby teeth are the dental condition in which a tooth that has loosened for some reason has been tightened back into the gums by the dentist. This treatment may interrupt or prevent the growth of permanent teeth. If extraction is not performed, the chance of dental crowding develops.
Ways to make tooth extraction procedure easier for children
If your child needs a baby tooth extraction, you can make them prepare mentally for the procedure by clarifying certain doubts and explaining the benefits of tooth extraction to your child. Other important things that parents must keep in mind to make the process easier for their children include:
Choose the right dentist: It is important to choose a certified dentist who has enough experience in the field of children’s dentistry. The dentist should know how to handle the children and make them comfortable throughout the procedure. Also, the atmosphere at the clinic should be children-friendly with kind staff.
Follow proper aftercare: It’s not just about mentally preparing children and getting the right dentist’s treatment. It is equally important to follow all the aftercare processes suggested by the surgeon to make the healing process faster, easier, and more successful for your child.
As a final observation
So, this is all about the tooth extraction procedure in children. It is advisable to teach your child good oral health habits as soon as possible. They must be aware of the benefits of practicing good oral hygiene habits like brushing twice, flossing, etc. These habits can help prevent various oral health problems and help maintain the smile on your child’s face for years to come.