The world of dentistry can be a scary place for kids—especially when you’re talking about surgery or procedures. For example, one dental procedure that can cause significant concern is tooth extraction. Because what kid wants to lose their teeth? However, it’s important that kids understand why tooth extractions may be necessary to feel more confident with their dental health. Although several factors might make this procedure the right course of action, we’ll focus on the three most likely reasons: overall health, safety, and oral comfort.
The Health of Young Teeth
Severe Tooth Decay
Our team can treat tooth decay with a filling or crown placed on the affected tooth in most cases. Our next option is pulp therapy, which means we’ll remove the tooth’s infected pulp, effectively giving the tooth a chance to “survive.” One of these treatments is often enough to eliminate pain or keep the tooth viable. However, if decay is too severe, the best option is to remove the tooth entirely.
Removing a decaying tooth can bring about a lot of stress to both parent and child, but allowing a tooth with severe issues to remain in the mouth can put the overall health of that child’s smile at risk. As pediatric dentists, our ultimate goal is the health, safety, and prolonged future of your child’s oral health. We’re here to employ safe and comfortable techniques to extract an affected tooth before decay, or possible infection can spread.
Cracked, chipped, or broken teeth is never something any parent is prepared for, but it’s something we see often enough. Whether the child is an avid athlete or simply playing on the playground, a sudden fall or hit in contact sports can lead to minor or major tooth trauma.
If your child has had an accident that’s resulted in a cracked or broken tooth at the root, our first goal is to try and restore or repair. If, however, restorative options are out of the question, the next safest option is to remove the tooth and discuss replacements.
If a tooth must be removed for safety reasons, our next step is to think about the future of your child’s smile. If the lost tooth was a primary, we might suggest using a space maintainer temporarily until a permanent tooth erupts. Otherwise, it may be best to install a dental bridge or partial denture to give your child a full smile until all permanent teeth have come in.
Your child’s smile is continually growing and developing. Sometimes this goes as planned, with zero hiccups. Other times, we’re met with a bit more of a challenge. Teeth are meant to erupt in the correct place each time, but many have experienced teeth that grow too close together or too far apart. Sometimes, even if teeth begin to grow into the correct place, over time and without proper correction, they end up crowded into one or two areas. Overcrowding isn’t just about the aesthetics of the mouth. Pearly whites that are too close together can impact jaw development. If left unattended, it can also lead to costly orthodontic treatment down the line.
We suggest taking overcrowding into account early on. By removing one or more teeth, we can effectively reduce overcrowding. This will allow for your child’s facial structure to develop strongly and correctly. Of course, extraction isn’t the best option for every overcrowding situation and is left for more severe cases. Regardless, our team will monitor the situation to make sure if an issue does become severe, we’re ready with a game plan.
We’re Here to Help!
Hopefully, this list helps you realize not only why your child might need a tooth extraction but also that the procedure is something that can be incredibly positive. In other words, this isn’t simply a scary thing that happens to children; it’s a necessary procedure done for their overall health. If you have any questions about whether your child may need a tooth extraction, please reach out to the Timpanogos Pediatric Dental team!