Extractions are performed for a wide variety of reasons, including tooth decay that has destroyed enough tooth structure to render the tooth non-restorable. Some extractions are done after recommendation from your orthodontist to make space for other teeth.
Types of Tooth Extraction
Keep in mind that a baby tooth is designed to fall out (as opposed to an adult tooth which is built to remain) so removing a child’s tooth is different than removing an adult’s tooth. The first step that we have to take is determining the type of extraction: simple extractions or surgical extractions.
We perform a simple extraction when the tooth is visible and easy to reach. We numb the site with a local anesthetic and make sure that your child feels comfortable. Then we use a special instrument to grasp the tooth and wiggle it back and forth until it can be lightly removed from their mouth.
A surgical extraction necessary when we cannot see or easily grip the crown of your child’s tooth. Surgical extractions tend to be more complicated that simple extractions and may be referred to an oral surgeon if appropriate.
Care of the Mouth after Extractions
It is important that anyone who has a tooth extracted follow the post-procedure instructions so that recovery is quick and effective.
Follow instructions given:
|•||Do not scratch, chew, suck, or rub the lips, tongue, or cheek while they feel numb or asleep. The child should be watched closely so he/she does not injure his/her lip, tongue, or cheek before the anesthesia wears off.
|•||Do not spit forcefully.
|•||Do not drink through a straw.
|•||Keep fingers and tongue away from the extraction area.|
Some bleeding is to be expected after an extraction. This bleeding may last into the evening, and your child may even have some bleeding on his or her pillowcase in the morning.
|•||If unusual or sustained bleeding occurs, place cotton gauze firmly over the extraction area and bite down or hold in place for fifteen minutes.
|•||This can also be accomplished with a tea bag.
|•||Maintain a soft diet for a day or two, or until the child feels comfortable eating normally.
|•||Avoid strenuous exercise or physical activity for several hours after the extraction.|
|•||For discomfort, use Children's Tylenol, Advil, or Motrin as directed for the age and weight of the child.
|•||Always make sure to follow all directions and dosing instructions on any medication that you are given.|
Questions about Tooth Extraction?
Here at Portland Children's Dentistry in Portland, OR we want all of our patients and their family to have a happy and healthy mouth. If you have any questions following the surgery, contact our Portland office at (503) 477-7130, Dr. David and Dr. Patty will be happy to help.