My Child Needs A Tooth Extraction, What Can I Expect?

Even adults can flinch at the idea of a tooth extraction, so it’s not really surprising if your child is a bit anxious right now.

In most cases, however, tooth extractions are simple, straightforward procedures that only keep the child in the dentist’s office for around an hour, sometimes less. Still, both you and your child would likely feel better knowing what to expect.

Here’s the answer:

Why Do Children's Teeth Need Extraction? 

One of the most common reasons a child might need an extraction is a stubborn baby tooth that won’t budge. In these cases, it’s best to pull out the tooth to create enough space for the adult one to erupt in the optimal position. 

However, there are other reasons why kids may need a tooth extraction:

  • Dental damage, such as a broken tooth or severe infection
  • Impacted wisdom teeth (in the case of older teens)
  • Preparing for braces, etc.

How Do Pediatric Tooth Extractions Work? 

Whether it’s a baby tooth or an adult one, you should know that all pediatric tooth extractions are done under local anesthesia to ensure the child doesn’t feel any pain during the surgery. 

The dentist will apply a local anesthetic to numb the gums, and then inject another stronger anesthetic to numb the tooth. After that, they will pull the tooth from its socket and ask the child to bite down on a gauze, which helps form a blood clot. 

In some cases, such as an impacted wisdom tooth, the pediatric dentist may need to make a small incision into the gums to reveal the tooth.

If the child is also particularly anxious or afraid, there are several types of sedation available to help them feel relaxed.

What to Expect After a Pediatric Tooth Extraction

Right before you leave the office, your pediatric dentist will give you lots of recommendations to help your child heal after a tooth extraction. These tips are designed to help protect the blood clot formed in the socket and prevent a painful complication known as dry socket. 

Some of these tips include:

  • Asking the child to chew on the other side of their mouth
  • Avoiding straws and spitting
  • Not brushing over the blood clot or poking it with their tongue and finger
  • Brushing and flossing their teeth every day
  • Using saline water or gentle mouthwash to cleanse the mouth
  • Not exerting the child physically for a few days, etc.

The child may feel some pain and swelling right after the extraction, which will peak by the third day and then slowly go down. It can take around 2 weeks to fully heal from this surgery.

Does Your Child Need an Extraction?

Dr. Jason Clapp, Dr. Jessica Bell, Dr. Jennifer Lee, and Dr. Natalie Smith are experienced in pain- and stress-free pediatric extractions!

Request an appointment at Pediatric Dental World online or call (972) 317-6997.

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