There are times when it is necessary to remove a tooth. Sometimes, a baby tooth has misshapen or long roots that prevent it from falling out as it should, and the tooth must be removed to make way for the permanent tooth to erupt. Other times, a tooth may have so much decay that it puts the surrounding teeth and jaw at risk. Infection, orthodontic correction, or problems with a wisdom tooth can also require removal of a tooth.

If it is determined that your child’s tooth needs to be removed, Dr. Greenhill or Dr. Jennison may extract the tooth during a regular checkup or may schedule another visit for this procedure. The root of each tooth is encased within the jawbone in a “tooth socket,” and the tooth is held in that socket by a ligament. In order to extract a tooth, the dentist must expand the socket and separate the tooth from the ligament holding it in place. While this procedure is typically very quick and many children have this completed with laughing gas (nitrous oxide) alone, it is important to share with us any concerns or preferences for sedation; we want to make sure your child is as comfortable as possible.

The day after your child’s extraction:

  • No drinking with straws.
  • No vigorous rinsing and spitting.
  • A soft diet is recommended for a few days; no eating of popcorn, pretzels, pizza, crackers, or any food with sharp edges.
  • If your child has any discomfort, give the appopriate dose of ibuprofen or Tylenol®.
  • If your child experiences swelling, apply a cold cloth or an ice bag and call our office.