That tooth’s got to go: Tooth extractions in children


Try as they might, parents are not able to keep a child’s teeth in the healthiest state possible. With the amount of sugary foods available to kids each day at school and home, it can be easy for plaque to form on a child’s teeth. If an infected tooth remains in the mouth, a child will continue to feel pain and allow the infection to spread to other teeth. While tooth decay is one reason that a dentist will have to remove a child’s tooth, there are also other reasons for tooth extractions in children.

Reasons for tooth extractions

Tooth extractions are not nearly as painful as some people might believe and can be a necessary treatment for patients of all ages. Tooth extractions have a multitude of purposes and beneficial effects for patients. However, a dentist will do everything he or she can to help the patient keep his or her natural teeth. Tooth extractions are more of the last resort when other options are not effective.

One reason that children may need a tooth extraction is due to infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, finds that 17 percent of children around 5 to 19 years of age had untreated dental caries (tooth decay) from 2011 to 2012. If the tooth is beyond saving, meaning that dental bonding, a filling or other options do not work, then the dentist will pull the tooth. If the patient does not receive treatment for the infection, then the infection can spread to other teeth and cause more issues.

Other reasons for tooth extractions can include:

  • Overcrowding
  • Hindering orthodontic treatment
  • Removing wisdom teeth (third molars)
  • Removing a tooth damaged beyond repair

In the instance of an overcrowded mouth, the child or teen may not have enough room for the other teeth to grow in comfortably. If the alignment of the teeth is crooked, there is a much greater chance for the teeth to trap plaque and become difficult for the child to clean. In other cases, tooth extractions are necessary for an orthodontist to install the necessary dental tools.

Necessary care with no pain

The process for tooth extractions will vary on the age of the patient and the placement of the tooth. For teenage patients having their wisdom teeth pulled, the dentist will put them under heavy sedation. The patient will be asleep and comfortable during the extraction and wake up to only minor soreness where the teeth were. For regular tooth extractions, the dentist will most likely numb the area of the mouth with anesthesia and then begin the extraction. The patient will feel no pain while awake during a regular tooth extraction.

To help a child prepare for a tooth extraction, speak to the dentist for tips on lowering anxiety. Explain that the child will be able to sit back and relax during the extraction and that there will be no pain. After the procedure, the dentist will go over how to help the child deal with any soreness and what medications the child can use. lists a few tips to help make recovery from tooth extractions easier for patients of all ages:

  • Avoid anything that might prevent normal healing
  • Don’t smoke or rinse your mouth vigorously
  • Avoid drinking through a straw for 24 hours
  • Follow the diet your dentist suggests

If you do not want your child to go through a tooth extraction, call our office and schedule an appointment to go over options. While we are capable of providing professional and safe extraction services, we can also apply other prevention methods to help the child remain healthy.

Cumming’s Family Dentist

At Cumming’s Family Dentist in Cumming, GA, we will customize your treatment to match your needs and schedule. Our professional staff creates a calm atmosphere for you during the appointment and treatment process. If you have any questions or are unsure of what is causing the pain in your teeth, do not hesitate to call us.

We will answer any questions and make sure you get all of the necessary information. We can help prevent damage to your teeth and set you on track for a lifetime of pristine oral health. At Cumming’s Family Dentist, your experience with us and your dental health are our prime concern.

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