No one likes the idea of tooth extractions, but at Children's Dental Specialties, we ensure that your child is comfortable and that the process is pain-free and comfortable. One of the first dental experiences a child will have — besides seeing their pediatric dentist in Worcester, MA for check-ups and cleanings — is losing a tooth. Losing a baby tooth can be simultaneously exciting and scary. With assistance from your child's dental team, though, the process doesn't have to be a big ordeal at all!
During their childhood and teen years, your kids may experience one or more of the following types of extractions.
Extractions of primary teeth are the most common type of tooth loss your child will experience. The baby teeth act as placeholders for your child's permanent teeth. Because your child's jaw is so small, there's simply not enough room for all 32 adult teeth to come in, so primary teeth are in place to help your child do the following until their permanent teeth are guided into place:
Around age five or six, your child will start to lose their baby teeth. Typically, kids get all their adult teeth in by the time they're 12 years old. During those six years, the primary teeth will become loose. As the permanent teeth make their way through the bone, they cause the roots of the baby teeth to resorb. Since the roots are the anchors that keep the teeth in the jawbone, once the roots are gone the teeth become loose and eventually come out.
Sometimes, the baby teeth can be stubborn and don't become loose when they're supposed to. In those cases, it's best for a pediatric dentist in Worcester, MA to extract the tooth. Failing to do so can interfere with permanent tooth eruption and lead to crooked teeth and bite misalignment. Many children will also avoid brushing the area and plaque and gingivitis can occur.
If your child needs orthodontic treatment to correct crooked teeth or misalignment, their dentist may determine that they don't have enough space in their mouth. To properly align the teeth, they need more room. If this is the case for your child, their dentist may recommend extracting teeth to create more space. Such extractions are common in orthodontics.
Between ages 16 and 18, your child's dentist will likely recommend that your child have their wisdom teeth evaluated by an oral surgeon to determine if extraction is recomended.
Most people simply don't have enough space in their mouth for all 32 teeth. If the wisdom teeth aren't extracted, it can make it hard to properly brush and floss, putting your child at risk for dental decay and gum disease. Additionally, if there's zero room in the mouth, the wisdom teeth can end up pushing against the molars in front of them, leading to root resorption of that tooth.
Also, if the teeth are impacted in the bone, they can develop a cyst or infection that can cause jaw or tooth pain. It's often best for these teeth to be removed before they cause a problem.
For the most part, if your child loses a tooth due to dental disease, it's more likely to be caused by decay than gum disease. Rampant and/or deep dental decay can cause toothaches and infections. The tooth can become so severely damaged that their dentist cannot restore it. The tooth (or teeth as the case may be) will need to come out.
One of the most common questions we get from parents is: Do we really need a pediatric dentist to extract our child's baby teeth? In many cases, no — all you need to do is sit back and let nature take its course. Your child can wiggle the tooth to help it along, but that's where the "help" should stop. It's best not to pull the tooth out as you risk pain, bleeding and swelling. The tooth will come out when it's ready. However, if your child's tooth is not loose or doesn't come out when it's supposed to (your dentist can advise you when each tooth should fall out), pediatric tooth extractions may be necessary.
We understand that losing a tooth can be scary for kids (adults aren't that excited about it either!). That is why we have the best team at Children's Dental Specialties to take care of your kids. Our team is caring, compassionate, and knows how to comfort your child when they're feeling anxious about extractions. We do our best to help parents feel comfortable throughout the process, too, by maintaining a calm environment and thoroughly answering any questions and concerns.