Dr. Derrick Cantu and Dr. Christi Wengler may recommend a tooth extraction if your child’s tooth is severely damaged. If your child experiences tooth damage as a result of an injury or accident, or if they have a tooth that develops more extensive decay, an extraction may be the best option for their smile and oral health. Our pediatric dentists will examine your child’s mouth to determine if this treatment is the right option.
When Do Children Need Tooth Extractions?
Common reasons for a tooth extraction include:
- Severe tooth decay – children’s teeth are at greater risk of tooth decay, and cavities commonly form on children’s molars because the enamel of baby teeth is very fragile and because children are not always committed to a good home care routine. Untreated cavities can also lead to more serious complications and may affect developing adult teeth. For this reason, our pediatric dentists may recommend an extraction.
- Trauma or injury – your child’s teeth may be damaged by accidents, falls or other injuries. In some cases, their tooth can be saved with a pulpotomy and a dental crown, but if the damage is severe enough, an extraction and a space maintainer may be recommended.
- Gum disease – gum disease is a condition caused by inflammation and infection. When left untreated it can affect the gums and jawbone, leading to loose teeth which need to be extracted if they do not fall out on their own.
- Impacted wisdom teeth – wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last teeth to come in. If these teeth become trapped or do not erupt properly, they will need to be removed. Extracting wisdom teeth also prevents other oral health problems, such as infection, tooth damage and tooth misalignment.
- Orthodontic treatment – overcrowded teeth or teeth which are preventing the eruption of permanent teeth typically need extraction so the permanent teeth can erupt properly and allow any misalignment to be corrected.
What Happens During A Tooth Extraction?
Our pediatric dentists will begin by taking any necessary X-rays to ensure your child’s extraction is as precise and minimally invasive as possible. A local anesthetic or other form of sedation will be provided to ensure their comfort. The tooth is then carefully removed using small instruments and our pediatric dentists will check to ensure that no bone or surrounding tissue is damaged. Stitches, sterile gauze and space maintainers will be provided as needed.
Your child may experience some discomfort after their extraction procedure. However, this should subside, and they should return to normal after a few days. In the meantime, we recommend:
- Have your child take all medications as directed. Anti-inflammatory pain medications such as Tylenol or ibuprofen can be used to manage discomfort, and they should use any prescribed antibiotics as directed.
- Use ice packs or cold compresses against the outside of the jaw over the extraction site. This will help manage discomfort and reduce swelling.
- Have your child maintain “soft” diet (cooked vegetables, mashed potatoes, smoothies, etc.).
- Do not let your child drink from a straw or spit vigorously for about a week after their procedure.
If you have any questions about your child’s post-op care, please contact our office and speak with a member of our team.
Make An Appointment
For more information about tooth extractions in San Antonio, Texas, or to make an appointment with our pediatric dentists, call Pediatric Dentistry of San Antonio today at 210-680-7841.