Teeth, due to decay or trauma, can reach a point beyond repair. In some cases primary teeth may need to be removed to create a more favorable path of eruption for permanent teeth. In the case of trauma or decay consideration of short term health and well being is critical. The process of removal of teeth begins with profound anesthesia to maximize comfort during care. Post -operative considerations include diet adjustment(s), proper wound care, oral hygiene modification(s), and pain management.
Primary “baby” teeth that are removed are not replaced but rather in some cases the premature loss of the tooth requires space “maintenance.” Multiple factors influence the use of “interceptive” orthodontics to maintain this space. These include but are not limited to: age of patient, cooperation of patient, tolerance for an intra-oral appliance, length of time an appliance is necessary, location of lost tooth, pending eruption of the permanent “successor” tooth, and overall caries risk of the patient.
Premature loss of a primary tooth, especially in the posterior, often results in the need for future orthodontic care. According to the American Academy of Orthodontists (AAO) children should have a screening when the first permanent molars, central incisors, and lateral incisors are fully erupted. Crowding may be best treated once all the permanent teeth have erupted and orthodontic care provided for all areas of the mouth.
Certain teeth can become badly infected, which can result in the infection developing in the permanent tooth that will eventually grow in. What parents need to know about extractions is how to help their children care for the area after the tooth is removed. If a permanent tooth is being removed, the after-care treatment will be much stricter and necessary to follow compared to the removal of a baby tooth that is already being pushed out by a permanent tooth.