Definition and Overview
Pediatric tooth extraction refers to the removal of teeth among those in pediatric age. This age can significantly vary depending on countries, but in the United States, it’s 0 to 21 years old.
Despite being covered with enamel, which is the hardest substance in the body, the teeth can be damaged due to a wide variety of reasons including trauma, injuries, gum infection, and dental caries, among others. The dentist job is to ensure that the teeth remain healthy and in cases of dental problems, his priority is to save the damaged tooth as much as possible. However, in certain cases, removing the teeth becomes the best and only option.
Who Should Undergo and Expected Results
Pediatric tooth extraction becomes a necessity in cases of:
Severe tooth decay – One of the biggest challenges in oral care is caries or tooth decay. If dental attention is sought immediately, the affected tooth can be easily saved using fillings and in more severe cases, root canal therapy. However, if the damage is beyond repair, the dentist may not have any other option but to pull it out.
Baby teeth – Also known as milk teeth or deciduous teeth, the baby teeth are the first set of teeth to appear. They start to develop during pregnancy but begin showing by around six months. They help in oral cavity development and are replaced by permanent teeth starting at around six or seven years old. Usually, baby teeth become loose and easier to remove on their own. But sometimes when the permanent teeth are about to erupt and the baby teeth have not fallen yet, they may have to be removed by the dentist to prevent possible dental problems.
Orthodontics – Teeth misalignment should be corrected as soon as possible as it can affect the bite and overall function of the oral cavity among children. In some cases, teeth may have to be removed to allow enough space for the remaining teeth to move in.
Impacted wisdom teeth – Also known as third molars, wisdom teeth can become impacted or unable to erupt. This may result in infection and inflammation, which can cause a lot of pain and damage to the nearby teeth. Because of their location, their extraction is recommended and this is performed through minor oral surgery.
How Does the Procedure Work?
The procedure starts with a thorough consultation with the dentist. As most children are often anxious about dental visits, the consultation is often used to establish a good relationship with the child and to gain his trust. Parents are also provided with instructions on how to prepare the child for the procedure. This is followed by x-ray exams that give the dentist a clear picture of not just the affected tooth but also its root and the gums surrounding it. Through this, the dentist will be able to identify the best solution to the problem.
As for the actual procedure, children may have to be provided with sedative, depending on their anxiety level. It’s important that the dentist is patient and is able to adjust himself to the emotional and mental state of the child.
A local anesthesia is administered prior to the tooth extraction to numb the area and minimize discomfort. In the case of surgery, such as the removal of an impacted wisdom tooth, general anesthesia may be applied.
For simple tooth extractions, a dental tool called elevator is used to loosen the tooth from its socket before it is pulled out using a pair of forceps. Bleeding is expected but should resolve on its own within 24 hours after the procedure. In the case of wisdom tooth extraction, the gums surrounding the tooth will be cut open, making the tooth visible to the dentist. In some cases, the affected tooth is broken into pieces, especially if it’s covered with bones, before it is pulled out. The wound is then sutured closed and the patient is advised to take antibiotics for about 5-7 days to avoid infection. The patient is also expected to make a follow-up after a week or so for the removal of the sutures and for the dentist to check if the would is healing properly.
Possible Risks and Complications
Children can develop the same complications as adults such as discomfort, pain, and bleeding. Sometimes the gums can also become infected.
The child’s experience can also have an emotional and mental impact, with some becoming traumatized by the whole experience and avoiding dental visits later in life.
Douglas JM, Douglass AB, Silk HJ. A practical guide to infant oral health. Am Fam Physician. 2004;70:2113-2120.
Dental caries. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 304.
Touger-Decker RJ. Position of the American Dietetic Association: oral health and nutrition. J Am Diet Assoc. 2007;107:1418-1428.
What is Pediatric Tooth Extraction: Overview, Benefits, and Expected Results
Pediatric tooth extraction is a dental procedure that involves the removal of a damaged or problematic tooth in children. It is typically performed by a pediatric dentist or an oral surgeon and is necessary when a tooth cannot be saved or poses a risk to a child’s oral health. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the overview, benefits, and expected results of pediatric tooth extraction.
1. Overview of Pediatric Tooth Extraction:
a) Reasons for Pediatric Tooth Extraction:
i) Tooth Decay: When a tooth is severely decayed and cannot be restored with fillings or other treatments, extraction may be necessary.
ii) Tooth Infection: If a tooth is infected due to a deep cavity or trauma, extraction may be required to prevent the spread of infection.
iii) Orthodontic Reasons: In cases of overcrowding or malocclusion, tooth extraction may be recommended to create space for proper alignment.
iv) Injured or Fractured Tooth: If a tooth is severely broken or fractured, it may need to be extracted to prevent further damage and potential infection.
v) Impacted Tooth: When a tooth fails to erupt fully or is blocked by other teeth, extraction may be necessary to prevent complications.
b) Dental Professionals Performing Pediatric Tooth Extraction:
i) Pediatric Dentist: Specializes in oral health care for children, including tooth extractions.
ii) Oral Surgeon: Trained in surgical procedures and performs complex extractions or cases requiring sedation.
c) Types of Pediatric Tooth Extraction:
i) Simple Extraction: Involves removing a tooth that is visible and easily accessible.
ii) Surgical Extraction: Required for teeth that are impacted, broken, or require a more complex procedure.
2. Benefits of Pediatric Tooth Extraction:
a) Pain Relief: Extracting a damaged or infected tooth can provide immediate relief from discomfort or pain.
b) Prevention of Infection: By removing an infected tooth, the risk of the infection spreading to other teeth or the jawbone is reduced.
c) Orthodontic Treatment: Extraction can create space for proper alignment and facilitate orthodontic treatment.
d) Improved Oral Health: Extraction eliminates the source of decay or infection, promoting overall oral health in children.
3. Expected Results of Pediatric Tooth Extraction:
a) Healing Process: Following the extraction, children may experience mild discomfort and swelling, which typically subsides within a few days.
b) Oral Hygiene: It is crucial to maintain good oral hygiene after extraction. Thorough brushing, flossing, and rinsing with saltwater is recommended to keep the extraction site clean.
c) Follow-up Visits: Regular follow-up visits with the pediatric dentist or oral surgeon will be scheduled to monitor the healing process and ensure optimal oral health.
In addition to these essential points, we will now provide a WordPress-styled table summarizing the benefits of pediatric tooth extraction:
|Benefits of Pediatric Tooth Extraction
|Prevention of Infection
|Improved Oral Health
In conclusion, pediatric tooth extraction is a necessary dental procedure for children when a tooth cannot be saved or poses risks to their oral health. It is performed by pediatric dentists or oral surgeons and offers benefits such as pain relief, prevention of infection, orthodontic treatment facilitation, and improved oral health. Following the procedure, proper healing and oral hygiene practices are essential. Regular follow-up visits ensure the child’s well-being and continued oral health. By understanding the overview, benefits, and expected results of pediatric tooth extraction, parents and caregivers can make informed decisions about their child’s dental care.