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Extraction of Baby Teeth

Due to injury or decay, extraction of a baby tooth may become necessary as part of orthodontic treatment.

If a baby tooth is forced into the jaw by a fall or a blow, the tooth will need to be extracted if it has caused damage to the underlying permanent tooth.  Sometimes an injury causes the death of the blood vessels and nerves of a tooth and that may make it necessary to extract the tooth.

A pulpotomy could be possible, but if an abscess develops due to the pulp becoming infected, extraction will by called for. If not, the permanent tooth below it that is still developing may erupt discolored or malformed. It is important to always give priority to the fate of the permanent tooth.

Sometimes when baby teeth are being replaced by permanent teeth, crowding can occur and extraction may then be necessary.  At that time, enough space should be created for the permanent teeth to erupt and be properly aligned, should the extraction be necessary.
If this should happen, it may avoid the later need for complicated orthodontic treatment.

Extraction can also be necessary if decay is so extensive that it cannot be repaired with a cap (crown) or a filling.  If the decay has led to the formation of an abscess at the end of the root and infection, extraction may be required. Infection must be avoided at all costs as it can be very painful and also affect the growth of the permanent tooth.

Maybe you’re wondering what to look for in signs of injury to a baby tooth?  There are several signs to be aware of.  Pain and bleeding are of course the main signs of injury.  Look for signs of the crown of the tooth being chipped, cracked or severed completely.

Levels of pain will of course be different depending upon the extent of damage to the tooth.  If an abscess develops, the pain may be severe. Chewing and biting will also be painful. If a tooth is loosened by an injury and is not able to be stabilized it may have to be extracted.

A dentist can sometimes stabilize a tooth by splinting. Following the death of the nerves and blood vessels of a tooth, you will see signs of brown or black discoloration. Just like the pattern of bruising to the skin, this is the result of the breakdown of blood vessels.

Extractions of baby teeth, especially the back ones, allows adjoining teeth to drift into the empty space.  The narrowing of this space may affect the normal eruption of the permanent teeth which will replace them.

Crowding of the permanent teeth can result in the movement of the adjacent teeth, with the subsequent need to have them straightened.  In those cases, a space-maintainer can be fitted by the dentist to prevent the drifting of teeth.

Always follow up with your family dentist for a consult in any case of a child’s tooth being injured.

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