There are times when it is necessary to remove a tooth. Baby teeth may need to come out if they are abscessed (infected) or if they are not coming out when they should, thus preventing the permanent tooth from erupting properly. Permanent teeth may need to be removed if they are abscessed (infected) or as part of an orthodontic treatment plan dealing with severe crowding. Wisdom teeth may need to be removed because of impaction, abscess(infection), pain, periodontal issues, or overcrowding.
While the idea of needing a tooth removed may seem daunting and lead to anxiety, at Children’s Dental Care we are quite adept at skillfully, efficiently, and gently removing teeth with little or no pain. The root of each tooth is encased within the jawbone in a “tooth socket”, and the tooth is held in that socket by a ligament. In order to extract a tooth, we must expand the socket and separate the tooth from the ligament holding it in place. While this procedure is typically very quick, it is important to share with us any preferences you may have for sedation.
Wisdom teeth are types of molars found in the very back of your child’s mouth. These teeth usually appear in late teens or early 20s, but they may become impacted (fail to erupt) due to lack of room in the jaw or angle of entry. When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it may need to be removed. If it is not removed, your child may develop gum tenderness, swelling, or even severe pain. Impacted wisdom teeth that are partially or fully erupted tend to be quite difficult to clean and are susceptible to tooth decay, recurring infections, and even gum disease.
Wisdom teeth are typically removed in the late teens or early twenties because there is a greater chance that the tooth’s roots have not fully formed and the bone surrounding the teeth is less dense. These two factors can make extraction easier as well as shorten the recovery time.
In order to remove a wisdom tooth, we first numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. Since the impacted tooth may still be under the gums and embedded in the jaw bone, we will need to reflect the gum and possibly remove a portion of the covering bone to extract the tooth. In order to minimize the amount of bone that is removed with the tooth, we will sometimes “section” the wisdom tooth so that each piece can be removed through a small opening in the bone. Once your child’s wisdom teeth have been extracted, the healing process begins. Depending on the degree of difficulty related to the extraction, healing time varies. We will share with you what to expect and provide instructions for a comfortable, efficient healing process.
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