There are times when it is necessary to remove a child’s tooth before it falls out on its own.
Sometimes, when a baby tooth needs to be extracted, your dentist will recommend the placement of a space maintainer. This prevents the neighboring teeth from shifting and causing problems with chewing or jaw joint function.
Ashburn Children’s Dentistry in Ashburn, Virginia, offers comprehensive dental care for children, including tooth extraction and space maintainers.
When Is a Kid’s Tooth Extraction Necessary?
Many scenarios could lead to a child needing to have a tooth extracted, including:
- A baby tooth with long or misshapen roots is preventing the tooth from falling out when it should
- Tooth decay is putting the surrounding teeth and the jaw at risk of infection
- A tooth has broken and cannot be adequately protected by a dental crown
- A child is a poor candidate for a pulpotomy or dental crown
What Happens When a Tooth Is Extracted?
The tooth extraction process is usually quite fast!
Removing one tooth may only take between 20 and 40 minutes and is performed under local anesthesia. Your child will not be unconscious, but they will not feel pain during the extraction.
Unfortunately, there are sometimes challenges related to administering local anesthesia. First of all, it can be uncomfortable or painful to be numbed, especially in more sensitive parts of the mouth.
Additionally, children with anxiety related to dental procedures may have a hard time with the extraction process, too. Finally, even though the kids tooth extraction process is pretty quick, some kids struggle to sit still for the entire procedure.
These are some of the reasons why our dentists and hygienists at Ashburn Children’s Dentistry do everything possible to help your child get through the extraction quickly and easily — without creating any traumatic or overwhelming experiences.
One of the ways we can do this is by treating a patient under sedation dentistry. By using sedatives to help calm our patient, we get through the extraction quickly.
We also use strategies that do not include sedation. These are a few of our patient comfort strategies:
- Kids’ treehouse to make going to the dentist fun fhttps://www.kidzsmile.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/DSC_2791.jpgun
- Movie amphitheater
- Video games
- Personal movie choice during your child’s treatment
- Laser dentistry
- Cozy blankets and pillows
- Kind demeanor from all of our staff
Removing the tooth
After the affected part of your child’s mouth has been fully numbed, your dentist will use small and precise dental instruments to remove the tooth without damaging the bone around the tooth.
Following the extraction, a gauze pad is placed over the socket, and pressure is applied for about 20 minutes.
Sometimes, stitches are necessary — but not always.
Aftercare for Kids Tooth Extraction
Here are some things to keep in mind as your child recovers from this procedure:
- For a few hours after the extraction, use an ice pack on your child’s cheek or jaw to reduce swelling and discomfort.
- Some discomfort for a few days is normal. If your child continues to experience pain more than 3 days after the procedure, reach out to us to discuss it.
- Do not let your child use a straw or spit vigorously while in recovery. This could dislodge a blood clot from the excision site.
- Administer over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain and aid the recovery process.
- If your dentist prescribes antibiotics to prevent infection, be sure to take the entire course of antibiotics.
Kids Space Maintainers
Space maintainers are a type of dental hardware.
When a baby tooth falls out naturally, it is usually because the adult tooth is ready to erupt. That adult tooth takes the place of the baby tooth, so there is not enough time for other neighboring teeth to shift positions.
An extracted tooth, on the other hand, may come out long before the adult tooth is ready to grow in.
If that open space is not addressed, the other teeth are likely to shift. This potentially causes bite misalignment, overcrowding, crooked teeth, and difficulty with chewing and even speaking.
A space maintainer is made from stainless steel. An orthodontic-style band is placed around one of the teeth right next to the open space, and a wire extends from the band to the tooth on the other side.
Now, the other teeth are held in place until the permanent tooth can erupt without creating any overcrowding.
Space maintainers are easily removed by the dentist when it becomes clear that the permanent tooth is ready to come in.
What to Expect From Your Tooth Extraction Process at Ashburn Children’s Dentistry
We approach pediatric dentistry with kindness and compassion.
We believe it is important that you and your child are informed and empowered about the decisions you make regarding dental care.
During your appointment, you can expect to be fully informed of each step of the procedure, given options whenever possible, and treated with kindness and respect.
Compassionate Children’s Dentistry in Ashburn, Virginia
It can be scary to think about dental extractions, but it doesn’t have to be. Dr. Lynda and Dr. Krystal at Ashburn Children’s Dentistry are here to guide you through this process, inform you of your options, and help your child learn to love going to the dentist.
Dental health is associated with many other health outcomes, and kids tooth extraction and space maintainers are an important part of some children’s dental care.
If you are concerned about your child’s teeth or suspect that your child may need to have a tooth extracted, we would be happy to discuss your needs with you! Please contact our offices to schedule an appointment today.