Many parents fear the term “extraction”. Does an extraction mean my child will be ashamed of their smile? Does my child losing a tooth mean I am a terrible parent? How much pain will my child be in after the tooth is extracted?

Extractions aren’t ideal, but they are sometimes necessary. In other words, don’t fear an extraction. Your dentist will only extract a tooth when absolutely necessary. If that is the case, your child will be treated with the utmost care and compassion.

Read on to learn more about what necessitates an extraction and what to expect during an extraction appointment.

child getting dental sealants

When is an extraction necessary?

Primary teeth help with your child’s jaw and facial development. Therefore we do not leap to extractions unless absolutely necessary. An extraction is required when damage to a tooth becomes too severe. Sometimes a tooth is damaged by an injury (such as being hit by a ball during a game). Other times, a tooth has become severely infected to the point of abscess. When an abscess happens, there’s no saving the tooth.

Primary Teeth (Baby Teeth)

If your child’s baby tooth has a cavity and is already loose, the pediatric dentist may opt to just wait until it falls out. However, if the tooth is loose and causing your child pain, the pediatric dentist may recommend an extraction to get your child out of pain rather than subjecting your child to further discomfort.

Permanent Teeth

If a tooth becomes abscessed, even if it is a permanent tooth, it may have to be removed. Other reasons that a permanent tooth may have to be removed include:

  • To prepare for orthodontia. If your child’s teeth are too big for their mouth and are becoming overly crowded, an orthodontist may recommend one or more of the teeth be extracted.
  • High risk of infection. If your child’s immune system is compromised, the risk of infection in a particular tooth may necessitate an extraction.
  • Periodontal (gum) disease. If the tissues and bones that surround and support the teeth have become infected and caused the teeth to loosen, it may be necessary to pull the tooth or teeth.

What to expect during an extraction appointment

At our office it’s important to make your child comfortable. Comfort is imperative to make sure that your child’s extraction goes off without a hitch. That is why each child is assessed for conscious sedation. Each child is individually evaluated for a sedation regimen that will help him or her. Since no two children are alike, each recommendation will be different. The best thing that you can do for your child is let them ask Dr. Warr any questions that they may have. Many parents mean well when they attempt to “prepare” their child for dental treatment but too much information about their treatment may make your child more nervous. This makes the appointment more difficult for the child. Allowing your child to ask our staff their questions demonstrates your trust in us. When your child sees that you trust us they can be more relaxed. Studies show that relaxed parents make relaxed patients! In order to make sure that we use terms that your child can understand, we use the term “wiggle” instead of “extraction”. This is less frightening and less complicated for your child. At each step of treatment, our staff explains what we are doing in language that your child can understand. It is important that your child know what is going to happen so we recommend that you let us do the heavy lifting! After the extraction, if the tooth was a baby tooth, a spacer may need to be put in your child’s mouth to help their facial development as your child grows. The dentist will give detailed instructions about how to care for your child’s mouth after a tooth has been extracted. Do you think your child may need an extraction? We’re happy to answer any questions about what your child needs and why.

Give us a call at 336-887-9277 to learn more about extractions and to set up your next dental appointment.