What is a Dental Extraction?
Dr. Cat peforms a dental extraction in our L’il Sunshine Smiles office to remove a tooth from the mouth. A dental extraction is either simple or surgical.
Our team peforms a simple dental extraction when a baby tooth is in need. An instrument called an “elevator” carefully elevates the tooth after a gentle local anesthetic numbs the area. The elevator tool helps to loosen the tooth which can then be removed with dental forceps.
Surgical extraction is required if a tooth is embedded in the jaw bone (fully impacted), or partially covered by jaw bone (partially impacted). Usually, a surgical extraction can be performed with a local anesthetic and nitrous oxide.
We Avoid Dental Extractions Because of the Role of Baby Teeth
Baby teeth act as placeholders for adult teeth while helping permanent teeth erupt where they should. Because baby teeth sometimes need dental extraction due to tooth decay or damage. Also, at times a prosthetic tooth may be needed so the permanent tooth will come in correctly and to help in proper speech and digestion.
Why Are Dental Extractions Necessary?
Dr. Cat and our team at Li’l Sunshine Smiles won’t recommend dental extractions unless there is nothing else that can be done for the oral health of your child. Dental extractions are needed when:
- Tooth decay is too wide-spread for tooth restoration.
- To prepare for orthodontic treatment.
- Baby teeth don’t fall out as they should before permanent teeth come in.
- Dental disease or dental trauma requires the removal of damaged or chipped teeth.
Teeth need to be extracted most often because of cavities and tooth decay, according to the National Institutes of Health. You can avoid the need for a dental extraction by assisting young children with their oral health care. (And, the steps you take to keep their mouth healthy, will help their whole body health too.)
What to Do After a Dental Extraction
Our friendly Li’l Sunshine Smiles’ team will review with you all the aftercare instructions for a dental extraction at the time of your appointment. Here are some other tips to remember.
Do the following after your appointment to help your child heal more happily:
- Offer only soft foods for 24 hours after the dental extraction.
- Administer to your child an over-the-counter or prescribed medication to reduce pain. (Ask Dr. Cat for dosing instructions.)
- Apply an ice pack on any swollen areas for about 20 minutes to decrease inflammation.
- Avoid having your child spit or drink from a straw–the force of this could dislodge the blood clot.
- Brush and floss their teeth with an extremely gentle touch, but don’t brush the area of the dental extractions until it has healed around the clot.
- Contact our office immediately if your child experiences fever, chills, increased pain, or severe swelling.