You do your very best to help your child take care of their teeth. However, sometimes issues may arise that can impact their oral health. They may not properly brush their teeth, which can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Your child may suffer facial trauma, which can occur as a result of playing sports or falling. When the teeth are damaged, Douglas L. Park, DDS, Pediatric Dentistry is here to help. We can assess the extent of the damage and provide your child with the care they need to restore the health of their teeth. Sometimes, however, the damage may be too severe, and we may not be able to save the tooth. In cases like these, we can perform an extraction.
A tooth extraction is the procedure done to remove a tooth that is damaged beyond. Extractions are also done to remove wisdom teeth that may be impacted or decayed.
Many extractions can be performed in our Gresham office; however, more complicated procedures may be referred to one of our trusted oral surgeons.
Why are teeth extracted?
Extractions are generally classified as either non-surgical (also known as "simple") or surgical (involving cutting through the gums and tooth). A simple procedure can quickly become a surgical procedure if the tooth fractures or refuses to loosen under pressure. We perform these procedures only after making sure the teeth are profoundly numb.
Reasons for an Extraction
When your child is faced with tooth damage, it is important that they be seen right away. Even if it is a baby tooth that has been damaged, treatment is still needed. The baby teeth, while temporary, play an important role in the oral development of your child. Not only do they allow your child to bite and chew, they foster proper speech development and hold space for adult teeth. Restoring damaged teeth, permanent or baby, allows the teeth to stay in place and able to perform their necessary functions. However, when the damage to a tooth is too severe, restorations may be ineffective. The teeth may be faced with further damage or at risk for new bacterial infection. In cases like these, an extraction may be the best choice for your child.
There are several reasons why your child might need a tooth extraction.
Extracting a Tooth
There are two ways in which teeth can be extracted. A simple extraction is done under a local anesthetic, but sedation can be provided if your child is feeling nervous or scared. The affected tooth is moved back and forth to widen the socket so that the tooth can be lifted out.
The second type of extraction is known as a surgical extraction. These types of extractions are done when the situation is more complex. A surgical extraction is done under local anesthetic and sedation. It may even be done under general anesthesia. Surgical extractions require small incisions in the gums so that we can completely remove all pieces of the damaged tooth. Once removed, the gums are sutured closed.
Protecting Your Child’s Smile After an Extraction
After a tooth is extracted, we can help to protect the appearance of their smile and their oral health. If a baby tooth is removed, and there is still time before the adult tooth is ready to erupt, a space maintainer may be used. This will help to hold the position of the tooth so that the adult tooth can erupt properly when it is ready. If a permanent tooth is lost, we can replace the extracted tooth with a bridge. We will discuss the options available for your child during their consultation.
Tooth Extraction Post-Operative Instructions
Following a tooth extraction there may be bleeding, oozing, soreness or moderate to severe pain.
Bleeding should stop in 15 - 60 minutes following the extraction. If you experience significant bleeding past this time please call our office at (503) 663-8141 immediately.
Discomfort following the tooth extraction is best managed with a mild analgesic like Tylenol or Advil. If your child experiences severe pain that lasts more than a day after after their extraction, please call our office.
It is important to not disturb the extraction site. A soft diet is recommended and avoid rinsing following the extraction.
If your child has suffered significant tooth damage, the best course of action may be to extract the tooth. Call Douglas L. Park, DDS, Pediatric Dentistry today if you have any questions at (503) 663-8141.