Let’s talk about child health today.
Has your child refused to eat his or her favorite delicacies, and has a fever, or is crawled up to a corner holding his jaw, or is outrightly crying and restless? There might be something wrong with the tooth which could require an extraction.
What Is Tooth Extraction?
Tooth extraction is the painless removal of a tooth or tooth roots with minimum trauma to the surrounding tissues so that the extraction socket wound heals uneventfully and without any post-operative complications. There are several reasons why a tooth would need to be removed, which could be due to oral trauma, or teeth decay, or simply for cosmetic reasons. It can be particularly necessary for the pediatric age group too.
This article would help understand the process, why it’s necessary, and what to do after an extraction.
Why Are Teeth Removed In Children?
Children visit the dentist for tooth extraction for some reasons as described below:
- When there is decay or infection deep into the tooth.
- Trauma or injury to the teeth from sports and trivial plays
- When there isn’t enough room for all the teeth in your child’s mouth
- Also when your kid’s baby teeth don’t fall out in time for the permanent teeth to come in
- Wisdom teeth, also called third molars, are often extracted either before or after they come in.
During the teeth extraction, the first thing done is that your dentist will thoroughly review the medical and dental history of your child by asking you relevant questions and then proceed to take the appropriate X-rays. The X-rays reveal the length, shape, and position of the tooth and surrounding bone with this information central to determining the best way to remove the tooth or whether to refer you to an oral surgeon or orthodontist.
Before the removal process commences, the area around the tooth will be numbed using a local anesthetic. You may be required to hold your child as children are generally unstable and may cry a lot during the procedure. For very unstable children, a general anesthetic may be used for the short duration of the procedure.
Two types of extractions can be done:
A simple extraction is the removal of a tooth that is visible in your child’s mouth. During a simple extraction, the dentist numbs the tooth and gum tissue and then loosens the tooth with an instrument called an elevator before removing it with dental forceps.
A surgical extraction is a more complex procedure used for a tooth that may have broken off at the gum line or has not come into the mouth yet. Oral surgeons usually perform surgical extractions; however, general dentists can perform them as well.
Aftercare For Tooth Extraction
After your kid has had a tooth extracted, you will need to help them take care of their mouth and recover and heal faster.
It is recommended that to minimize pain, ensure that your child takes all prescribed medicine as directed, and to reduce swelling, you can help put an ice pack on the cheek near the extraction site and apply the ice pack for 5-10 minutes.
After the pain may have subsided, children are prone to wanting to start playing or running around. Hence as the caregiver, ensure you limit your child’s activities for the first 24 hours after extraction with the encouragement to go to bed early.
Below are some other things to do to help your child heal faster:
Eating a diet of soft, healthy foods and snacks and also drinking of plenty liquids.
Ensure that you brush their teeth gently and also avoiding to brush around the extraction. It’s advised that you don’t use any toothpaste as rinsing toothpaste from their mouth may dislodge the blood clot.