Oral surgeons don’t recommend tooth extractions for children very often, but sometimes it’s necessary.
Why would a child need a tooth removed?
Pulling teeth that aren’t loose is only advised as a last resort, to correct issues with jaw and dental development. If you have children with smiles to protect, this could be a decision you face in the future.
No. 1: When Baby Teeth Don’t Fall Out
It’s exciting to watch your child’s baby teeth fall out, and most eventually come out on their own. Occasionally, however, a baby tooth remains firmly in place long after it should have fallen out. When a stubborn tooth starts to become a problem, removal may be recommended.
Extraction will give the permanent teeth room to erupt properly, potentially eliminating or minimizing the need for orthodontic treatment down the line.
No. 2: When Teeth Are Badly Damaged
Children are always tripping and falling, and sometimes the unfortunate consequence is chipped or loose teeth. In some cases, a dental filling, cap or crown can save the day, though a root canal may be required if the injury involves nerve damage.
However, when there isn’t enough left of a tooth to save, or when the damage extends below the gumline, tooth extraction is often recommended.
No. 3: When Teeth Are Severely Decayed
For most cavities and tooth decay, fluoride treatment and dental fillings are effective. In extreme cases, however, these measures aren’t enough.
When the rear teeth are severely decayed, a root canal and protective sealant is usually the preferred treatment approach. However, when a child has extensive decay in the front baby teeth, an oral surgeon may advise tooth extraction.
No. 4: When Orthodontic Treatment Requires Extraction
Oral surgeons usually try to save baby teeth whenever possible, as they act as placeholders for the adult teeth. Keeping a tooth until it falls out on its own prevents other teeth from moving into that spot. Sometimes, though, the opposite approach is necessary.
If a tooth is crowding the mouth or blocking the way for the adult teeth to erupt properly, tooth extraction may be recommended. This generally occurs as part of an orthodontic treatment plan, to ready the child for braces.
Do you think your child might need tooth removal? You’ll need a compassionate, friendly oral surgeon who has experience working with children. If you live in the greater Salt Lake City area, make an appointment with Dr. Partridge or Dr. Maxfield at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah.
With over 10 years of experience working with both adults and children, our professional team understands how to give patients of all ages a comfortable, anxiety-free oral surgery experience. For more information on tooth extractions in children, or to schedule an appointment, contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office today.