Tooth Extractions in Alpharetta & Johns Creek, GA
Getting loose teeth is a normal part of growing up. In fact, it can even be exciting or something to look forward to. Sometimes, a visit from the tooth fairy can be all the motivation a child needs to finally pull that wiggly tooth out. Sometimes, it’s not. In that case, a tooth extraction might be the best way to go! The clinical name for pulling a baby tooth can sound scary, but it’s really quite painless and easy. Learn more about tooth extractions below!
What is a tooth extraction?
Most babies start getting their first primary teeth around their first year. Teeth continue to erupt until the age of three. By then, they have a full set of 20 primary teeth. This cycle then repeats in 3 – 5 years when the permanent teeth have developed beneath the gums. Most kids start losing baby teeth around the age of 6 or 7 and continue to do so until they are 9 or 10.
A tooth extraction is exactly what it sounds like – the extraction of a tooth. When baby teeth overstay their welcome, pediatric dentists can use professional tools to pull them out. Some kids need a little help getting those baby teeth free and DIY tricks just won’t cut it. Pulling teeth with floss at home can works just fine for some kids, but for others, it can be largely traumatizing and ineffective. That’s where your pediatric dentist comes in!
Why get a tooth extraction?
As explained earlier, the most common reason children get tooth extractions is to make room for new teeth! However, there are other circumstances your child may need to have a tooth pulled.
- Extreme dental decay
- Chipped or cracked tooth
- Wisdom teeth
- Space management for orthodontic treatment
When a tooth is damaged beyond repair by an accident or dental decay, the best course of action may be to remove the tooth and replace it with an implant until the permanent tooth grows in. However, most of these situations are surgical extractions. Our pediatric dentist may refer your child out to oral and maxillofacial surgeon if this is the case.
Does my child need a tooth extraction?
Most of the time, children are able to remove their baby teeth without problems. However, some teeth are especially stubborn and require professional interference.
A baby tooth that isn’t removed in a timely manner can cause future teeth to grow incorrectly, resulting in gaps, crowding, overbites, underbites, and a whole lot of other orthodontic problems. If the baby tooth impedes on a new tooth’s ability to erupt, it could result in an impacted tooth. Worst case, this could lead to an infected tooth or cyst.
When a loose tooth isn’t pulled, it can also affect your child’s ability to talk, smile, and eat. This can have negative consequences on your child’s health, physical and emotional!
The best way to know whether your child needs a tooth extraction is by asking your child and the pediatric dentist. If the pain is unbearable, your child will tell you. The pediatric dentist can conduct a dental exam and take x-rays of the teeth. If the baby tooth is in the way of the new tooth, there may be good reason to extract it.
What is the process of a tooth extraction?
A tooth extraction is an extremely safe, easy process. Most of the time, it can be completed in just one day! Here’s what you and your child can expect:
- Oral examination: The dentist will examine the teeth and x-rays one more time before the procedure.
- Anesthetic: If your child is afraid the procedure will hurt, the dentist can apply an anesthetic gel to their gums, but most likely, this step is not necessary.
- Extraction: Finally, the dentist will perform a simple extraction by removing the tooth with forceps.
And that’s it! Tooth extractions at our pediatric dental office are usually quick and painless.
How do I care for my child after the procedure?
Get ice cream! Just kidding. In all seriousness, there isn’t too much your child needs to do after the tooth extraction. If the tooth was already loose, the new tooth will start growing in quickly afterward. Here are a few tips from our pediatric dentist:
- Place gauze against the area of the extraction to prevent bleeding
- Use an ice pack against any swollen or sore areas
- Eat soft foods like mashed potatoes or soup
- Do not use straws because straws can dislodge blood clots
- Brush and floss gently around the missing tooth
If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out! Polkadot Pediatric Dentistry is a pediatric dental office dedicated to providing excellent dental care and patient education to families in Alpharetta. We’re always happy to help.