Why Might a Child Need a Tooth Extraction?

You’re likely familiar with the concept of tooth extractions, especially when it comes to wisdom teeth. However, did you know that children can need extractions too? At Green Leaf Dental, we always do everything we can to salvage a tooth before resorting to extraction. 

However, some teeth can’t be saved or worsen other oral health problems. In this case, an extraction may be necessary, even in children. To find out what situations would be cause for extraction and whether or not these teeth need to be replaced, read on.

Reasons for Extraction

Tooth extraction is when a tooth needs to be removed from the mouth, either surgically or non-surgically. There are various reasons why a child may need to have an extraction, such as extensive decay, gum disease, dental trauma, overcrowding, or to make extra space for orthodontic treatment.

A child may need to have a baby tooth extracted even though it will eventually fall out on its own. This is because some baby teeth take longer to fall out than others and if the tooth is causing significant pain, infection, or cavities, it is crucial that the tooth is removed to avoid prolonging problems.

Some teeth that have been damaged from dental trauma or teeth grinding are too severe to be repaired and are better off being removed. Gum disease causes loose and wobbly teeth due to bone loss and can lead to tooth loss. It is important to remove teeth that have extensive decay that cannot be repaired, as these can lead to infection, worsening pain, and the infection can spread to the jaw bone.

Benefits of Extraction

In a tooth that is severely decayed or damaged, extracting the tooth can relieve significant pain, swelling, and distress. When an infection has been left untreated, it can spread into the bloodstream and throughout the rest of the body. 

This can be incredibly serious and makes treating the infection more difficult. The infection and decay can also spread to the neighboring teeth. By removing the tooth, we reduce the risk of damage and loss of other teeth. 

An extraction can also be used to improve the appearance of the teeth and smile. Some children have overcrowded teeth due to having extra teeth or a lack of space in the jaw. Sometimes in orthodontic treatment, a tooth needs to be extracted to make room to correct the alignment of other teeth. In other cases, overcrowding can cause pain because teeth are pressing into other teeth.

Does My Child Need to Replace the Tooth?

This depends on the tooth that was removed. If a permanent tooth was removed, it will need to be replaced. However, if a baby tooth was removed, it depends on the location in the mouth and how soon the permanent tooth is due to come in. 

Premature loss of baby teeth can cause shifting of the teeth and prevent the permanent tooth from having a space to come in. Certain baby teeth, such as the front four upper and lower teeth do not usually need to be replaced because the space in the mouth will stay open. 

Unless a tooth will quickly be replaced naturally, it’s vital to replace the tooth to prevent bone loss and shifting teeth. Permanent teeth can be replaced with a dental implant, dentures, or a dental bridge. Baby teeth usually need space maintainers to hold the space open for the permanent tooth.

Tooth Extractions at Green Leaf Dental

Does your child have extensive tooth decay, gum disease, pain, or oral trauma? These could all be potential causes for an extraction. Before resorting to removing the tooth, we would try everything else available to us, such as a root canal or dental crown placement. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Yoni or Dr. Bean, contact us at Green Leaf Dental today.

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