At Edgewater Dental Arts, we will perform a tooth extraction only when it is necessary to protect your child’s oral health. But when might this be? Read on to learn about situations when you would need to consider a tooth extraction for your child.
Damage Beyond Repair
In kids and adults, poor oral hygiene leads to the build up of a slimy bacterial biofilm called plaque. When it feeds on sugar, plaque produces acids that damage teeth and irritate gums. Plaque results in tooth decay and infection if not daily brushed, flossed, and rinsed away and routinely scraped off by our professional dental tools.
Areas of early-stage tooth decay, or “incipient caries”, are sections of weakened enamel that are temporarily demineralized. These weak spots can often be remineralized through improved oral healthcare habits. If the decay is not reversed, the enamel becomes permanently damaged, resulting in a hole called a cavity.
Sometimes a cavity can be cleaned out and repaired with a simple filling. But when damage and infection affect the innermost tooth, root canal therapy is required to restore the tooth’s function. However, if your child’s tooth can’t be saved with root canal therapy, we will recommend its extraction to prevent further irritation, pain, and infection.
Similarly, extraction is sometimes the best course of action for a baby tooth that is broken or fractured beyond repair due to trauma.
Problematic Baby Teeth
There is a general timeline of when kids lose their baby teeth and in what order. But sometimes baby teeth are stubborn and want to stick around. When a baby tooth hangs on long past the time when it should’ve fallen out, it can cause problems for your child’s adult teeth. For instance:
- Inability of the underlying adult tooth to erupt properly
- Abnormal tooth wear of the surrounding teeth due to its size difference
- Crowding of the neighboring adult teeth with subsequent shifting, increased risk of tooth decay, and potential jaw issues from bite misalignment
Gentle Tooth Extractions As Needed
Bring your child to see us every six months for a routine checkup so we can monitor their oral health. We also invite you to visit us for an emergency appointment if your child experiences a toothache, fractured or broken tooth, or other dental emergency. Call Edgewater Dental Arts, your family dentist in the Annapolis area, at 410-956-3525.