brother and sister learn about tooth extractions for kids

What you need to know about tooth extractions for kids

We know that “tooth extractions for kids” can sound pretty intense, so we’re here to demystify the procedure, discuss what to expect during the process, and talk about sedation options available to keep your child calm and comfortable during the appointment!

Here’s what you need to know about tooth extractions for children:

Reasons for tooth extractions in children

There are several reasons why a child may need a tooth extraction. One of the most common reasons is due to severe decay (cavities) or damage/injury to the tooth that can’t be repaired with a filling or crown. (This is why we don’t want you to miss any of your regular exams or cleanings!)

Other reasons children may require a tooth extraction is due to overcrowding (not enough room in the mouth for all teeth to emerge without crowding each other), baby teeth not falling out on their own, and impacted teeth (teeth that can’t push through the gums due to insufficient space or teeth being twisted or tilted).

In other cases, a tooth extraction may also be necessary to prepare for orthodontic treatment.

What can I expect during the extraction process?

At Kids Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we follow a “tell, show, do” philosophy to help ensure that your child is comfortable before the procedure. We “tell” first by explaining the process in child-friendly words. We “show” next, by demonstrating what we’ll be doing. Then, we “do” the treatment. 

At your appointment, we’ll explain in detail what you can expect before, during and after the procedure. 

The first step is to numb the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic, so your child won’t feel any pain during the procedure. We know that children can be particularly anxious at the dentist, so we offer sedation options to help keep your little one calm and relaxed. (We’ll discuss sedation further down the page!)

Once the area is numb, we use special instruments to carefully loosen the affected tooth from its socket. In some cases, we may need to make a small incision in the gum tissue to access the tooth. Once the tooth is loose, we gently remove it from the socket. In most cases, the extraction process is quick and relatively painless.

Sedation Dentistry for Children

At Kids Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we understand that many children feel anxious or fearful about tooth extractions. We want to help your child maintain a positive association with the dentist, which is why we offer several sedation options, including:

Nitrous Oxide

Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is safe and effective for children of all ages. It works quickly to help your child feel relaxed and at ease, before and during the procedure. The effects of laughing gas wear off quickly after the appointment, so your child will be able to resume their normal activities.

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation involves giving your child a pill or liquid medication to help them relax before the appointment. Throughout the procedure, your child will still be awake and able to respond to commands, but will feel drowsy, dreamy, and less aware of what’s going on around them. 

Oral sedation requires some preparation beforehand, which we’ll discuss with you at your appointment!

IV Sedation (General Anesthesia)

For children who require a more complicated tooth extraction, children with special needs or children with severe anxiety, we may recommend IV sedation. This type of sedation is administered through a vein and puts your child into a deep state of relaxation. 

A highly-qualified pediatric anesthesiologist will provide the anesthesia while our dental team performs the treatment safely. Your little one will be asleep during the procedure and won’t remember a thing afterward!

Still have questions about tooth extractions?

We know that tooth extractions sound scary! We’re here to guide you and your child through the entire process to ensure the best possible experience. If you’re looking for a pediatric dentist who offers sedation (for kids), we’re here for you.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions about tooth extractions or any other pediatric dental procedure. Schedule an appointment with our pediatric dentist in South Tampa, North Tampa, Town ‘n’ Country or Bradenton today.