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My Child Chipped a Tooth. Does it Have to be Pulled Out?

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Children can be rough on their teeth, whether it’s due to accidental injury or poor food choices. In some instances, a tooth may need to be removed if it’s severely decayed or damaged beyond repair. Pediatric dentists Dr. Jeni Kong and Dr. Sandra Oh with Apple Tree Pediatric Dentistry offer interventions for children in need of advanced dental work, including pediatric tooth extractions in Lawrenceville, GA.

What is a pediatric tooth extraction?

Pediatric tooth extraction is a dental procedure that involves complete removal of one or more teeth. Pulling a tooth out is used as a last resort intervention to preserve a child’s oral health when other restorative techniques, such as fillings and crowns, are no longer effective.

When should a child’s tooth be removed?

Dr. Jeni and Dr. Oh offer initial exams and thorough assessments to see if alternative restorative techniques can be used to save the tooth. Pediatric tooth extraction is only considered if:

  • A tooth is severely decayed and cannot be restored with fillings or crowns

  • A tooth is damaged or broken beyond repair

  • A tooth is not growing properly

  • A baby tooth doesn’t naturally fall out, risking obstruction of the growth of permanent teeth

What is a space maintainer?

If a baby tooth is extracted, our dentists at Apple Tree Pediatric Dentistry may recommend a space maintainer. The space maintainer is a custom-made dental appliance that is temporarily bonded to the gums where the baby tooth was removed. This prevents other teeth from crowding the space and obstructing the permanent tooth from erupting in Lawrenceville, GA.

Is a pediatric tooth extraction painful?

Our dental team takes great care in making pediatric patients feel comfortable and at ease during a tooth extraction procedure. We offer local anesthesia and sedation (nitrous oxide) offered in low, controlled doses so that children have a virtually pain-free experience. Gum inflammation and tenderness are common after the procedure, so our dentists can also recommend over-the-counter pain medication during recovery.

Should my child’s tooth be pulled out if it’s chipped?

If a tooth is only superficially damaged and found to not impede on the child’s overall oral health, then a chipped tooth does not need to be extracted. However, pediatric patients should regularly follow up with their dentists to monitor the tooth for any changes.

What will the recovery period look like for my child?

After the tooth is extracted, the child may feel groggy for a few hours after the procedure, depending on the sedation method used. Dr. Jeni and Dr. Oh provide children and their parents/guardians with recovery recommendations to minimize pain and to optimize gum healing which includes:

  • Avoiding the use of straws and spitting

  • Eating soft, room-temperature food for the next couple of days

  • Using cold compresses to reduce gum pain

  • Following dental recommendations to clean and care for the gums and teeth

  • Using suggested over-the-counter pain medications as needed

Does dental insurance cover a pediatric tooth extraction?

Typically, most dental insurances cover pediatric tooth extractions. However, some policies will not cover specific sedation methods. It’s essential for parents/guardians to consult with their insurance provider to see what dental interventions are covered. Our team at Apple Tree Pediatric Dentistry will work with your insurance and provide a financial plan for recommended procedures that are not fully covered so that children can get the dental care that they need.

Learn more about pediatric tooth extractions

If you think your child has a tooth that is decayed, broken, damaged, or obstructing the growth of other teeth, contact our team at Apple Tree Pediatric Dentistry in Lawrenceville, GA to schedule a tooth extraction consultation today. After initial exams, Dr. Jeni Kong and Dr. Sandra Oh can help parents/guardians determine if their child requires a pediatric tooth extraction and walk them through the intervention process.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.