Tooth extractions are dental procedures that involves removing a tooth from the bone socket. Some children may find this procedure to be scary and worry that it will hurt. By educating your child, you may relieve some anxiety surrounding the experience. Other children are often are more excited about the Tooth Fairy coming and don’t worry about possible dental pain. Rest assured, no matter what the reaction, we’ll do our best to ensure your child is comfortable.
Children start to loose their baby teeth from the age 6 to 13 years. Sometimes baby teeth need a little help to make way for adult teeth. We recommend that your child wiggles the baby tooth to help the tooth fall out. If your child’s baby tooth refuses to fall out on its own accord we can help with taking it out with minimal fuss.
Sometimes we encounter children with severe decay, infection or trauma and we may have to take a tooth out a little earlier than natural shedding. Your child may also need to extract one or more teeth to make room for shifting teeth if they are getting braces.
What is involved?
Fortunately, when necessary, a child tooth extraction is usually an easy affair. Kids require much less anesthetic than adults and usually have very little to no discomfort during their procedure. Most kids do not need a narcotic analgesic or pain medications.
An x-ray will be taken to determine the severity of the child’s tooth damage. If the tooth cannot be repaired, a new appointment will be made for the tooth extraction. An antibiotic may be given before, as well as after, the procedure. This takes care of any possible infection that has been caused by the damaged tooth. Treating the infection before the extraction reduces the risk of the infection spreading.
Depending upon the parent’s preference, the age and health of the child, and the dentist’s comfort level, a general anesthesia may be used for a child who is receiving a tooth extraction. A topical numbing ointment will most certainly be used, often tasting of strawberry or other child friendly flavour. A shot may also be given as well. Pain medication is not recommended as it may cause blood clotting complications. We will monitor the child constantly to ensure that they are not experiencing too much discomfort.
The dentist will then use an elevator to wedge between the tooth and the bone surrounding it. This expands the tooth’s socket and separates its ligament. Extraction forceps will then be used, manipulating the tooth from side to side and rotating it for further socket expansion and ligament separation. When properly prepared this way, the tooth will be pulled upon to slide out of the socket in its entirety.
A small piece of gauze will be applied to the area of the tooth extraction. This should be kept in place for long enough for the blood to clot. It is important for the child’s mouth to be kept as clean as possible during the healing period. This can be done by rinsing the mouth with salt water several times per day. Some bleeding is normal after the tooth has been extracted and should only last for a day or so.
If any additional swelling occurs or if the child begins to feel additionally ill or comes down with a fever, then be certain to call us immediately in case of infection. This rarely happens though.
Children’s Panadol or Nurofen should be purchased if the dentist did not already prescribe a painkiller for your child to increase their comfort after the extraction is complete. It is often best if these are not used until the blood clot has formed.
It may be good to apply a bag of ice to the outside of the child’s jaw to keep swelling to a minimum and to aid in numbing the pain.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner