Oral surgeons only recommend tooth extraction for children as a last resort, to correct problems with chewing, speech and dental development. Sometimes, however, pulling a tooth before the permanent replacement is ready to erupt is necessary. If your child has overcrowding that could affect jaw development, a badly fractured tooth that cannot be repaired or extreme decay that cannot be resolved with a filling or root canal, your oral surgeon may advise an extraction.
Most children are understandably nervous about the procedure — having a tooth pulled can be stressful even for adults. But with a bit of preparation, parents can help make their child’s tooth extraction a much smoother experience.
Familiarize Your Child with the Tooth Extraction Process
Many children react with fear when faced with new and overwhelming situations, and for most kids, having a tooth pulled is a foreign experience.
Getting them familiar with the extraction procedure can help alleviate their fears. Explain what to expect before, during and after the oral surgery and talk with them about their concerns. Reading books about tooth extractions and role-playing may also work to make your child more at ease.
Prepare for Tooth Extraction Recovery with Your Child
Worries about the tooth extraction recovery period are common among children, and preparing ahead with your child can help.
Work together to create a comfortable recovery spot with a cozy blanket, plenty of pillows and entertainment — queue up a few movies or stop at the library for some new reading material. Be sure to stock up on soft foods, like ice cream and freezer pops. The cold feels good on sore gums, and what kid doesn’t like eating icy treats?
Don’t forget to get your child’s input on their aftercare along the way. It will provide a source of distraction and give your little one something to look forward to.
Choose the Right Oral Surgeon
Finding a local oral surgeon who has experience working with children will make a big difference in your child’s extraction experience.
To the untrained eye, tooth extractions for children might appear to resemble those performed on adults. However, kids have different jaw and facial structures, and they aren’t fully developed. Complications can result from doing work without experience with children’s teeth.
More important, an oral surgeon who has worked with kids has the experience, equipment and techniques to make the procedure much less traumatic for your little one.
If you need a compassionate, child-friendly oral surgeon in northern Utah, 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 throughout the greater Salt Lake City area, our professional team knows how to reduce dental anxiety for patients of all ages. And we take the utmost care to keep our patients comfortable before, during and after their oral surgery procedures. Contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office today to discuss your child’s tooth extraction.