There are several reasons why your child may need to have a tooth extracted. A tooth may need extracted because it is so badly decayed that it cannot be saved. A tooth may also need extracted if it is crowding other teeth and causing them to come in crooked, or if it has been severely fractured or damaged.
Regardless of the reason, having a tooth extracted can be a difficult and frightening concept for your child to understand. It’s important for the parent to understand the procedure and help prepare the child for the experience.
If the tooth being extracted is visible and easy to remove, a simple extraction will be performed by numbing the area with a local anesthetic and gently removing the tooth with forceps. Your child won’t feel pain, but will feel pressure as the tooth is being removed. The pressure is from the process of rocking the tooth back and forth to loosen it from the socket.
If your child’s tooth is impacted, we may need to remove some surrounding gum tissue in order to reach the tooth. This procedure is a bit more intrusive and will require your child to be numbed with nitrous oxide or sedated via IV before this more-complex procedure begins.
The procedure and steps needed for your child will always be discussed with you beforehand.
After the Tooth is Extracted
After the extraction, we will give your child a piece of gauze to bite on until the bleeding stops and a blood clot forms. The pressure from the gauze will help to stop the bleeding. This will usually take 15-20 minutes.
- Give your child an over-the-counter or prescribed pain medication to soothe soreness in their jaw. We recommend Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Never give a child Aspirin.
- Place an ice pack or bag of frozen peas on any swollen areas for about 20 minutes to decrease inflammation.
- Serve only nutritious, soft foods for the 24 hours after the extraction.
- Don’t let your child use a straw or spit. The suction and force could dislodge their blood clot.
- Have your child continue their normal dental care routine within 24 hours, but make sure they use caution around the extraction area and avoid brushing it directly until the area over the clot has healed.
- If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the prescribed number of days, even if pain and swelling have gone down.
- Call our office immediately if your child experiences fever, chills, great pain, or severe swelling, or if the bleeding and/or swelling continue after 2-3 days.