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. At other times, a tooth may have so much decay that it puts the surrounding teeth and jaw at risk of decay, so Dr. Cooper may recommend removal as well as space maintenance. Infection, orthodontic correction, or problems with a wisdom tooth can also require removal of a tooth.
When it is determined that a tooth needs to be removed, our doctors may extract the tooth during a regular checkup, may request another visit for this procedure, or possibly refer your child to an Oral Surgeon for treatment.
The root of each tooth is encased within your jawbone in a “tooth socket,” and your tooth is held in that socket by a ligament. In order to extract a tooth, the doctor must expand the socket and separate the tooth from the ligament holding it in place.
Dr. Cooper “wiggles” teeth out; he doesn’t “pull” them out.
While this may be just a choice of words, this terminology will help you child with possible anxieties about an extraction. The extraction procedure is typically very quick, but it is important to share with your child’s doctor any concerns or preferences for sedation.
Once a tooth has been removed, neighboring teeth may shift causing problems with chewing or with your jaw joint function. To avoid these complications, we typically recommend that you maintain the space for the permanent tooth by having a space maintainer made.