Some decisions in life shouldn’t be made flippantly. Most decisions aren’t absolutely permanent, but others cannot be undone, which means the choice needs to be taken seriously. For example, having one of your child’s teeth extracted is a decision you need to carefully consider because it is a permanent change to their smile.
Fortunately, you don’t have to make this decision by yourself. Your pediatric dentist can offer professional insight and advice, but why would you ever need to think about tooth extraction for kids? Check out these three reasons for this procedure!
Reason #1: Erupting Permanent Tooth
In general, pediatric dentists allow primary or baby teeth to fall out naturally—when they are ready. However, sometimes a permanent tooth starts to poke through the gums before the baby tooth has come out. Not only can this double row of teeth look strange, but it can also impact how the permanent teeth erupt. Instead of growing in straight, the adult teeth can stand at an angle. Once the baby tooth is removed, the permanent teeth may realign, but they may require orthodontic work to fix.
Reason #2: Extensive Tooth Decay or Damage
Unfortunately, cavities and dental injuries can happen to kids as well as adults. If a child suffers from especially bad decay or damage, it can reach below the gumline. At that point, the tooth may not be salvageable with a crown and might need to be removed entirely.
For baby teeth that are extracted prematurely, a pediatric dentist will likely place an oral appliance called a space maintainer, which does exactly as the name suggests—maintain the spacing of the teeth—until the permanent tooth comes along. If an adult tooth is extracted because of decay or damage, you can then consider getting them a dental implant to replace it.
Reason #3: Too Many Crowded Teeth
Normally, children have 20 primary teeth and 32 permanent teeth, but not everyone fits this typical rule. Sometimes, a child’s mouth is too small to accommodate all their teeth. In other cases, they have extra teeth altogether. Working with an orthodontist, the pediatric dentist may conclude that a tooth needs to be removed to create enough space for the rest.
In the end, tooth extraction isn’t something to take lightly for an adult or child. If your pediatric dentist recommends this procedure, make sure you understand the reasons behind their advice so that you feel confident about your child’s treatment. Your decision now could affect their smile for the rest of their life!
About the Practice
As board-certified pediatric dentists at Wash Park Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Patrick Bowman and Dr. Samantha Graffeo do everything they can to preserve their young patients’ healthy smiles, even if extraction becomes necessary. Each is a parent, which means they understand how to help parents make the best decisions for their children and they know how to explain dental concepts to young children in an understandable way. If you would like to schedule an appointment with them, contact the Denver office at 720-647-6310 or online.