Children's Dental care
Parents may think that dentists offer to do unnecessary things like saving a baby tooth; after all, if the tooth is supposed to fall off, why bother? The reality is those baby teeth are necessary for a kid’s proper dental development, and we don’t want to pull them out prematurely.
Removing a primary tooth before the patient is ready to replace it with a permanent tooth naturally can lead to severe developmental problems.
When Would You Need to Pull a Tooth?
There will be occasions when a baby dentist might choose to pull a tooth, but as we mentioned, they will do so only when strictly necessary. Primary teeth are supposed to fall off, so when a permanent tooth is ready to erupt, your baby’s teeth will begin to feel loose.
You could pull primary teeth at home, and if you feel like you have to, we prepared another article on this subject. You can follow along with this link to our blog on saying bye-bye to baby teeth.
Your baby’s dentist can help in pulling the tooth in a more controlled environment. Here our pediatric dentists in Aurora at Polkadot Pediatric Dentistry, we might recommend pulling a tooth in the following scenarios:
The most common type of impacted teeth is wisdom teeth, which won’t erupt until your children’s late teens. Still, any permanent tooth could become impacted. Usually, your child’s permanent teeth will erupt following the primary teeth path before them.
Impacted teeth cannot properly erupt because one of many reasons, like:
- Primary teeth that don’t fall off
- Dense bone tissue
- Growing in the wrong angle
You may need to consult if there is a need for orthodontic help in treating impacted teeth. If the reason for an impacted tooth is a primary tooth that hasn’t fallen off, the dental health professional treating your child may recommend pulling the tooth.
Dental infections are severe, especially at younger ages. Children’s primary teeth are not as resistant as adult’s permanent teeth. The outer layers of primary teeth are much softer, and bacteria can degrade them quickly, leading to pulp infections.
If left unattended, pulp infections can spread to other parts of the body and affect a child’s dental or speech development.
More often than not, a baby’s dentist will do everything they can to save the dental structure, so they may recommend other treatments to avoid pulling a tooth. Still, if the dentist determines that a severely infected tooth is close to falling off naturally, they may suggest removing it and avoiding any restorative treatment.
What We Do to Avoid Pulling a Tooth
Those were the cases where it would be advisable to remove teeth, but your dentist will also let you know if they can do anything to preserve your kid’s primary teeth. Even if baby teeth fall off, prematurely removing them can lead to the development of severe orthodontic problems, speech development issues, and difficulty with socializing and learning.
Here are some of the treatments your baby’s dentist will recommend to save primary teeth:
Root Canal for primary teeth is not unheard of, and it can be highly beneficial to the patient. Some kids may suffer from considerable tooth decay putting their dental and overall health at risk. A pediatric dentist would act to save the children’s teeth whenever possible.
A root canal enables the dentist to save the dental structure and prevent orthodontic conditions later in the patient’s life. If the dentist were to extract the tooth before the patient’s mouth was ready to replace the primary tooth, they could precipitate problems like overcrowding and impacted teeth.
Remember that if your child has a cavity that goes untreated, their teeth’s pulp may get infected. Depending on a tooth infection’s progression, your baby’s dentist may recommend either a pulpotomy or a pulpectomy, which we will explain below.
- Pulpotomy: The dentist will clear the infected tissue within the crown of the tooth. This procedure means drilling into the affected tooth, cleaning, sterilizing with medication, and reinforcing the tooth.
- Pulpectomy: This is a slightly more complex procedure that involves clearing infected tissue from the entire tooth, including the roots. Once the dentist cleans everything, they will reinforce the tooth accordingly.
You can learn more about how we perform baby root canals following this link.
Fillings and Restorations
After a dentist cleans a cavity, they will want to proceed with a restorative dentistry treatment like using fillings. We use different materials to fill the tooth, but the goal is to reinforce a tooth after we clear infected tissue.
Fillings are necessary because teeth without pulp are more brittle than before, so they need support to avoid future damage. You could learn more about the process of getting dental fillings by reading this other page.
Trust Your Baby’s Dentist for Treatment
We hope this information helped explain why our first option isn’t to remove teeth, even after detecting an infection. We will do whatever we can to help save your child’s teeth. Of course, there will be occasions where removing a tooth is inevitable or even desirable. You can always count on us to help if your child’s teeth need to be removed.
If you have any other questions, make sure you get in contact with us. And if you think that your child’s teeth may be at risk, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Set an appointment online to come in for a revision and treatment. Your child’s smile will thank you for acting as soon as you can.