Families and dentists in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston areas trust the team at Children 1st Dental to handle the unique needs of pediatric patients. We recognize the importance of emotional comfort for every child who visits the dentist, and we combine friendly care with safe sedation practices to foster the most pleasant experiences for our valued patients.
What is tooth extraction?
Tooth extraction is the procedure performed to remove a tooth or teeth. An extraction may be necessary if there is disease, trauma or overcrowding.
Why would an extraction be needed?
Crowding – Tooth crowding presents functional and general health problems for patients. When teeth overlap, there is an increased risk for plaque and tartar buildup in tight crevices. These forms of biofilm harbor bacteria that cause bad breath and that weaken enamel and the soft tissue of the gums. Crowding may make it difficult for a child to chew or speak clearly, if malocclusion is severe. The position of teeth could lead to frequent biting of lips or cheek. Finally, primary teeth that do not fall out may inhibit the proper development of permanent teeth.
Infection – Early care for infection in a tooth is ideal. When infection extends to the deepest part of the tooth, pulpotomy may be performed to remove infected pulp tissue without affecting the integrity of the roots of that tooth. When infection becomes severe, surrounding structures become vulnerable, as well, and the appropriate protocol may be to remove the origin of infection, the damaged tooth.
There are two methods used to extract teeth. They are referred to as simple and surgical extractions. A simple extraction removes a tooth that can be seen above the gum line. An instrument called an elevator is used to gently loosen the tooth, which then allows for removal with forceps. In general dental practices, simple extractions are performed with local anesthetic only. At Children 1st, care is performed with the appropriate sedative.
Surgical extractions involve a minor incision in the gum line in order to reach the tooth that has either broken below the gum line or which has not fully erupted. Patients do not feel pain during tooth extraction due to the use of local anesthetic, which numbs the nerves in the treatment area. Sedation further enhances pain tolerance, so the only sensation to occur is slight pressure. However, patients that are sedation typically feel nothing at all, nor do they remember their procedure.
Recovery from an extraction
Recovery from simple extractions is typically quite easy. Patients may feel slight soreness or tenderness for a few days. Pain medication may be used to manage comfort. Surgical extractions tend to produce more significant soreness than simple extractions. Your dentist may prescribe pain medication to manage post-operative discomfort. Most patients fully recover from tooth extraction within one to two weeks.
Can your child eat after an extraction?
After having a tooth pulled, soft foods are preferable, at least for a few days. After the initial period of healing, patient tolerance can dictate dietary habits. One caveat to eating after tooth extraction is that patients should NOT drink from a straw. Doing so may inhibit clot formation, or disturb the clot that has formed in the socket.
Caring for your child
- Administer medication as instructed by your dentist.
- Provide soft, nutritious meals and snacks, as well as water.
- Rinse your child’s mouth with lukewarm salty water the day after extraction.
- Keep a watchful eye on your child, and remind them to avoid touching their mouth with their
- hands, or the socket with their tongue.
- Contact us or your general dentist if you have any questions.
Schedule a Consultation
If you would like more information, contact our Dallas, TX office today! Call (855) 422-0224 to schedule a consultation today.