“It’s like pulling teeth!”
We’ve all heard the saying before. You’ve maybe even used it before! The message is simple: we often compare difficult and uncomfortable situations to getting a tooth pulled.
Because of this (understandable) attitude, many adults unwittingly have taught their child to fear having a tooth pulled. Because of this, tooth extraction for children causes more anxiety than almost any other procedure we perform here at Children’s Dentistry in Las Vegas.
Our message to both children and parents is simple: you have nothing to fear when it comes to tooth extraction. Today’s methods of tooth extraction mean that your child has little to worry about in the way of pain and discomfort. When combined with the assistance of gentle sedation dentistry, child tooth extraction and recovery doesn’t have to be the alarming event your child imagines it to be.
Tooth Extractions Can be Simple
Tooth extraction is actually much easier for a child’s primary teeth than it is for an adult’s permanent teeth. After all, baby teeth are naturally made to come out.
The excellent team at Children’s Dentistry has safely performed thousands of tooth extractions for children over the years. Our advanced equipment and compassionate care make the procedure simple. Here’s what to expect if your child is having a tooth pulled.
At-Home Care Before the Tooth Is Pulled
At your child’s last semi-annual exam, the dentist may have told you that your child has a tooth or teeth that need to be pulled. Don’t put off scheduling the appointment for this procedure. Delaying it could cause any number of issues. The simplest way to help bring about the best results is to make the appointment as you check out of the office from their six-month cleaning and exam.
Tooth extractions are a relatively routine procedure for children, but you’ll still want to follow the pediatric dentist’s instructions for at-home care before the day arrives. Your child will be sedated (either by local or general anesthesia) during the procedure, so follow the dentist’s instructions about eating and drinking in the hours leading up to the appointment.
Visiting the Office for Tooth Extraction
When it’s time for your child’s tooth to be pulled, there’s typically one of two methods the dentist will use:
- Simple tooth extraction: As the name suggests, this method is straightforward. When a baby tooth is visible in the mouth, a simple extraction is all that is necessary. Typically, local anesthesia is used, although some parents ask for general anesthesia for children who are especially anxious about their tooth extraction.
- Surgical tooth extraction: For some children, tooth extractions are more complicated because the tooth is not visible in the mouth. These teeth are either partially or fully impacted in the jaw bone. A surgical extraction typically requires local anesthesia as well as nitrous oxide (often called “laughing gas”). General anesthesia is also an option, so have a conversation with your child’s pediatric dentist about the options available when scheduling the appointment.
When the procedure is done, your child will need a few minutes to recover from anesthesia. During this time, the pediatric dentist will likely meet with you to give you some instructions for at-home care and recovery.
Recovering from a Tooth Extraction
Although your pediatric dentist will do everything they can to ensure your child has the best experience possible, it’s still likely that your child will have some minor discomfort or swelling after a tooth extraction. For children who are recovering from getting their tooth pulled, these steps will help aid in their comfort and overall recovery:
- Ensure that you fill any prescriptions given to you by the pediatric dentist. Give your child medication for pain by following the dentist’s instructions. If you have any questions about prescription medications, talk to the pharmacist or the pediatric dentist.
- Have ice packs available to help with pain management and swelling. Here’s a tip we often share with the parents of patients: a bag of frozen peas makes an excellent ice pack. The small bag of peas is more moldable to the face, which is more comfortable than a frozen, rigid ice pack.
- Your child might be most comfortable eating soft foods like gelatin or protein shakes. Soup can be an excellent option, but make sure it has cooled to a good temperature first.
- Give your child at least one full day of rest. Their body will need to recover from anesthesia. Additionally, you’ll want the extraction site to fully clot to prevent infection.
- Change the gauze in your child’s mouth as instructed by the dentist. Keeping clean gauze in the mouth is another excellent way to prevent infection.
Tooth extractions for children don’t have to be traumatic! These simple steps will have your kid back to full speed in no time. However, if you notice that your child is having difficulty recovering, or if there is an increase in pain, redness, or bleeding in the days after an extraction, call the dentist immediately. This could be a sign of infection or dry socket, both of which require follow-up at the dentist’s office.
Simple Child Tooth Extraction and Recovery at Children’s Dentistry
If you live in the greater Las Vegas area, you should schedule any tooth extractions for children at one of the 10 convenient locations of Children’s Dentistry. Our inviting offices are kid-approved, and your child will love our engaging lobbies, friendly staff, and the gentle care they get. Parents love our offices too, because we offer family-friendly office hours with evening and weekend appointments available.
At Children’s Dentistry, we firmly believe every child should have access to quality dental care, which is why we accept most dental insurance plans, including Medicaid through Liberty Dental Plan. We accept cash, major credit cards, personal checks, and debit/ATM cards. We even have convenient payment plans available through a trusted third-party source.
Don’t put off tooth extractions for children any more. Contact Children’s Dentistry to schedule a consultation for your child today!