Should My Child Have Oral Surgery to Remove Baby Teeth?
Ideally, oral surgery to remove baby teeth would be rare. The reality is tooth extractions are considered the most common surgical procedure in the United States. Most of the time, this surgery is very simple when performed by an oral surgeon and can be completed with local or general anesthesia based on your child’s needs.
Consultation with an oral surgeon is an important step for you and your child. Children are sometimes apprehensive and a nice visit with the surgeon who can answer all of your questions can help put your family at ease. Preparing your child for the oral surgery experience can relieve his or her anxiety and help the process move forward smoothly.
The type of extraction required depends on what is found via by the surgeon at your child’s consultation. This is one reason why bi-annual dental checkups are so important. Waiting too long to perform certain oral surgeries can have more long-standing repercussions.
Why Is Surgery Required to Remove My Child’s Baby Tooth?
There are several reasons why your dentist, orthodontist and/or oral surgeon will recommend oral surgery to remove – or extract – a baby tooth. Some of the most common include:
In most cases, with routine bi-annual dental checkups, pediatric dental decay is caught and repaired before it progresses to an irreparable place. When tooth decay progresses to the point that it cannot be restored it is necessary to remove the tooth.
Dental decay is a serious condition. In addition to causing physical pain or serious infection for your child, decaying teeth may also be a source of embarrassment, This is especially true if the tooth in question is visible when they talk or smile. Unchecked tooth decay can lead to more serious complications including:
- Severe pain and discomfort
- Abscesses in the face or neck
- Difficulty chewing food, which can lead to malnutrition
- Misaligned bite which can affect jaw muscles and structure
- Repositioning of teeth that alters how adult teeth can erupt
- Tooth loss
Once the unrestorable baby teeth are removed, a proper diet and routine dental checkups should prevent further decay.
A broken tooth
If the tooth was broken as a result of an injury, we may opt to remove the tooth – rather than repair it – especially if the adult tooth is due to emerge sooner rather than later.
This is simpler than going through the expense of the tooth repair process and can save the expense of the repair the investment if the baby tooth is close to natural exfoliation.
Your child is getting braces
After many of the baby teeth are lost and adult teeth make their way into place. If the adult teeth are not allowed to erupt because the baby teeth do not come out on their own, we may feel extractions of existing baby teeth are the best course of action.
What Happens During Pediatric Oral Surgery
The more prepared your child is the better. One important consideration is to be sure someone who specializes in, or has a reputation for, being great with kids does the work. Kids are understandably more wary of surgical procedures because it’s difficult for them to understand the procedure. Patience is a must, and your children should be told – in age-appropriate language – exactly what will happen and that extra care is taken to make sure they are comfortable.
Have questions about recommended surgical extraction to remove your child’s baby teeth? Contact us. We’ll be happy to discuss your concerns and refer you to the right oral surgeon for your child’s needs.