Gentle Extractions For Troublesome Teeth
Caring Treatment For Kids
If your child has a painful or damaged tooth, they may require a tooth extraction. At We Care Dental Care, tooth extraction is always our last resort, and Dr. Benjamin Burkitt will always do everything he can to save your child’s tooth.
But in some cases, extraction may be a better option for your little one, and can provide them with relief from their pain and discomfort. Learn more below, or contact us now to schedule a consultation in Roanoke.
When does my child need a tooth extraction?
The most common reason that your child may need a tooth extraction is due to a damaged or extensively decayed baby tooth or adult tooth. If your child has a serious tooth infection due to an oral injury or a cavity, it may not always be possible to save the tooth with pulpotomy or a root canal, and extracting the tooth may be the best option to prevent further complications.
Tooth extractions are also commonly provided to teenagers whose wisdom teeth are growing into their mouths improperly. The wisdom teeth usually erupt between the ages of 17-25, but some kids get them earlier.
Wisdom teeth are our final set of 4 molars, and are a natural part of the mouth, but most people do not have enough space to accommodate another set of teeth, particularly after orthodontic treatment with braces. This means that they can grow into your child’s mouth improperly, and cause a variety of oral health issues. Extraction is often the best option to prevent this.
Finally tooth extractions may sometimes be required to prepare for another dental treatment, such as orthodontic treatment. A child who has very crowded teeth and a narrow palate, for example, may need to have one or more teeth extracted before they get braces, in order to ensure their remaining teeth have enough space.
Does Getting a tooth extraction hurt?
The process of getting a tooth extraction will not cause your child any pain or discomfort. Their mouth will be completely numb during the procedure, and Dr. Burkitt uses the latest techniques and tools to provide gentle extractions at We Care Dental Care. We even offer sedation for kids, so your child can relax and get the dental care they need without any fear or discomfort.
How do I take care of my child after treatment?
After your child has had a tooth removed, Dr. Burkitt will provide you with a comprehensive set of care instructions that you’ll need to follow to ensure your child’s mouth heals properly. For example, you’ll need to make sure they avoid heavy exercise and exertion for a few days after their treatment, and they will need to eat a diet of mostly soft foods for up to a week after their treatment.
In addition, make sure they don’t use a straw or spit forcefully, as this can dislodge the blood clot that forms at the extraction site, causing a painful complication called “dry socket.”
For more information, consult with Dr. Burkitt after your child’s extraction appointment, and make sure you follow all of his instructions so that your little one’s mouth can heal quickly.
Do I need to replace my child's missing tooth?
In most cases, the answer is “yes.” If your child loses a baby tooth before it’s supposed to fall out naturally, they may need a space maintainer. These are small plastic or metal devices that will sit in the gap where their missing tooth was, preventing the nearby teeth from moving. A space maintainer will help your child’s adult teeth erupt properly as they grow.
However, a space maintainer may not be needed if the adult tooth below the now-missing tooth is already erupting. Before their extraction, Dr. Burkitt will examine your child’s mouth and determine whether or not a space maintainer is required.
If your child loses an adult tooth, they will also need to have the tooth replaced. There are lots of reasons for this. First, it helps them eat and speak clearly, and ensures they don’t feel self-conscious about having a missing tooth as they grow. Replacing their tooth also prevents the nearby teeth from moving, which can ruin their bite and teeth alignment.
Dental implants are the best option for long-term tooth restoration, but are not appropriate for kids. This is because patients must have a fully mature and developed jaw before they can get an implant. If the jaw bone is not fully developed, the implant could potentially interfere with further bone development. Most dentists will not provide kids with implants until they’re at least 17 or 18 years old.
Because of this, most kids will get a partial denture if they lose an adult tooth. These dentures use one or more false teeth, which are held in a metal and plastic base that snaps onto your child’s healthy teeth. Then, once your child’s mouth is fully developed in the future, they can get a dental implant to replace their partial denture and permanently restore their missing adult tooth.
How long will it take my child to recover from a tooth extraction?
It will usually take a few days for your child to recover from a tooth extraction. If possible, we recommend taking them out of school for a day or two so that they can rest and recover at home. This will help them stay comfortable and will speed up the healing process.
Your child’s mouth should be mostly healed in about a week, and it will take about 2 weeks before the extraction site feels completely normal once again. You’ll usually come in for an appointment at We Care Dental Care 1-2 weeks after their initial extraction so that Dr. Burkitt can check on their healing and recovery process.
Throughout your child’s healing process, you will need to make sure that you follow Dr. Burkitt’s instructions to care for their mouth. Among other steps, they will need to eat a liquid and soft food diet for a few days, must avoid spitting forcefully and using straws for at least 24 hours, and will need to gently rinse their mouth with salt water and brush carefully around the extraction site.