Extractions of baby teeth can occur for various reasons. If a baby tooth becomes infected, it can negatively impact the adult tooth that is developing behind the baby tooth. If an infection or abscess of a baby tooth is not addressed, the child can develop a larger infection or cellulitis and possibly be admitted to the hospital for inpatient treatment. These infected teeth may need antibiotics prior to extraction to help lessen the infection and allow for the tooth to become numb. The antibiotic is only to serve to help lessen the infection in and around the tooth and allow the dentist to achieve better anesthesia prior to extraction. If the infected tooth is not extracted in a timely fashion, the infection will likely return.
Some teeth may become too badly broken down, have poor root structure remaining or need to be removed to allow for the adult teeth to properly grow into the mouth. The orthodontist may also request certain adult teeth be removed to allow for orthodontic treatment and a better esthetic and functional end result.
As the patient approaches the mid to late teen years we often take a panoramic radiograph to assess for the presence of absence of third molars or wisdom teeth. Depending on the angle, amount of root development and space left in the mouth for these teeth to erupt, we may or may not refer you to an oral surgeon to have these removed. It is much easier to remove these teeth at a younger age when the teeth are less developed and the root is shorter. These wisdom teeth may not have any pain or discomfort at the time, but we are sending you for an evaluation to have the teeth assessed prior to pain and problems present.
In rare cases, supernumerary teeth - or true extra teeth - are
found in some patients. This typically
happens in specific ethnic groups, but everyone is evaluated for these. The most common area is in the upper jaw and
between the front teeth and is called a mesoden. This extra tooth, and at times teeth, can
negatively impact the eruption of the upper adult front teeth. Depending on the location, positioning and
age of the patient will determine if we would address this in the office or
refer the patient out to the oral surgeon for extraction. Supernumary teeth can occur in the lower jaw
and in the back of the mouth, too. For
the extraction of the front mesoden(s), a small area of the gums is opened to
allow access to the extra tooth. In some
cases the removal of one or more of the front teeth may be needed to help
locate and access the extra tooth. We
typically will wait to the age of 5 to perform these extractions, unless