HomeBlog Understanding Pediatric Dental Health: When Tooth Extraction May Be Necessary for Your Child
Understanding Pediatric Dental Health: When Tooth Extraction May Be Necessary for Your Child
May 24, 2023
Having a tooth extracted is no fun and it can be especially tough on young children. Unfortunately, sometimes it is the only way to treat an oral health issue.
When Does a Child Need to Have a Tooth Removed?
Children naturally lose their first set of teeth (primary or "baby" teeth) around the time they start elementary school. This happens because the permanent teeth start to grow and push the teeth they are replacing out of the way. However, a child's teeth may become damaged requiring removal of primary teeth before the permanent teeth are ready to come out. This situation usually arises when the teeth have become decayed or infected, when they have become damaged due to injury, or when gum disease has developed. Parents should remember that while pediatric tooth extraction is unpleasant, it is done only when necessary and in the best interests of the child.
Cavities: Children are prone to cavity-related dental problems because the enamel on the primary teeth is fragile and is easily chipped or worn away. Children tend to be less than diligent when it comes to dental hygiene which exacerbates the problem. If left untreated, besides the severe pain that results, cavities can lead to infections and serious oral health concerns.
Injury: Children cannot be stopped from playing and injuries are a part of playing and growing up. Minor cuts and bruises are routine and need no special treatment, but a damaged tooth cannot be ignored. Even if there is no initial pain, there could be a sudden onset of pain when the nerve in the tooth becomes exposed. Infections and other health issues caused by broken teeth are a major concern. It may be possible to avoid an extraction by performing pulp therapy or by providing a dental crown. Your dentist will decide on the right course of action.
Gingivitis: Gum disease is another common problem for children. If the gingival tissue in the gums becomes inflamed, the results could range from bleeding to swelling and redness of the gums and if not treated promptly, it can lead to receding gums and pediatric periodontal disease that can damage the gums and jawbone and may require tooth extraction.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth: This is another common reason for pediatric tooth extraction. If the wisdom teeth are blocking the development of the primary teeth, they need to be extracted, failing which the primary teeth could come in crooked or at an angle.
Although tooth extraction is today far less uncomfortable and painful than it was in the past, adults still tend to fear it, even if they know it is necessary. Children, of course, fear it even more. If your child needs to have a tooth (or teeth) extracted, you need to prepare him for the experience and give him the support he needs to cope with the discomfort. The best pediatric dental care does not limit itself to the extraction of teeth but treats the problem holistically to ensure that the extraction is done only when unavoidable, the child undergoes the least possible discomfort and the healing is as quick as possible. Always take your child to a dental practice that includes pediatric dentistry among its services.