Why Would a Baby Tooth Need to be Extracted?
In most cases, baby teeth fall out on a pretty predictable schedule and are replaced with permanent teeth. So you might ask yourself — If a baby tooth is going to fall out on its own, why would extraction ever be required? It’s a good question, and one that Mint Hill pediatric dentist Dr. Bevin Malley can explain.
Reasons for Baby Tooth Extraction
The natural progression from baby teeth to permanent ones typically occurs smoothly, with no anxiety involved other than what the Tooth Fairy is going to leave! However, sometimes a baby tooth doesn’t behave the way it’s supposed to, it sustains an irreparable injury, or extensive decay necessitates the removal of the tooth.
- A Retained Baby Tooth: Typically, a permanent tooth erupts into the space formerly occupied by the accompanying baby tooth. Sometimes, though, this series of events get a bit off-kilter, and the permanent tooth erupts behind the baby tooth. You might see this with the lower bottom front teeth, for example. In this case, the baby tooth must be extracted in order to let the permanent tooth move into its predetermined position.
- A Crowded Smile: If the permanent teeth don’t have room to erupt but force their way through anyway, crowding can occur. Extraction of baby teeth can eliminate crowding to enable teeth to erupt in a normal, healthy manner. A crowded smile is not only aesthetically less than ideal, it’s also harder to clean, which increases the risk of gum disease and dental decay.
- An Injured Tooth: A fall or accident may cause irreparable damage to a tooth. Sometimes, trauma occurs in which a baby tooth is pushed up into the gums. This can damage the underlying permanent tooth and necessitate extraction.
- Extensive Decay: If not addressed in a timely manner, dental decay can cause a whole host of problems. Besides damaging the tooth to the point that it can’t be repaired with a filling, crown, or pulpotomy, decay that leads to infection can cause an abscess and potentially damage the unerupted permanent tooth. Extraction is needed in order to eliminate decay, alleviate discomfort, and remove the risk of damage to permanent teeth.
If your child requires a tooth extraction, rest assured that Dr. Malley and the team at Carolina Kids Dentistry will deliver gentle, compassionate care to make the experience a positive one. We offer safe sedation methods and use proven techniques to successfully extract baby teeth and create healthy smiles.
Call us today to schedule an appointment for your child with Mint Hill pediatric dentist Dr. Malley.