Tooth Extractions 101

Tooth Extractions 101

Tooth extractions can be stressful for both children and their parents. At Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan, we aim to make every experience as comfortable as possible for everyone. Here’s our guide to tooth extractions! 

First of all, why are teeth extracted.  In our office, we hope the only teeth being extracted are baby teeth (over-retained, to assist with eruption, or in the unfortunate situation of a bad cavity) and the occassional orthodontic extraction for severe crowding.  Our doctors will be sure to explain your options for any tooth before resorting to extractions and we will be crystal clear about the reasoning when this is recommended.  We take all decisions we make with you regarding your child very seriously.

BEFORE the visit

Talk to your child. We can coach you on what to tell your little one so that any nervousness is replaced with knowledge and clear expectations. When a tooth extraction is necessary, it usually means the tooth is damaged beyond simple repair or overcrowding is massive and causing other eruption problems so tooth extraction is a actually a good thing to do!  

For children with more severe anxiety, we can give you a sedative your child can take before going to the appointment. This pill keeps your child awake, but the fear and anxiety are greatly reduced.

DURING the extraction

We apply a local anesthetic to your child’s gum area. No pain will be felt during the extraction.  We make sure the area is completely numb before we loosen the tooth and then use a special instrument to remove the tooth from the socket. That’s a simple extraction.

In the case of an impacted tooth, it’s a more complex procedure. Your child would need nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or IV sedation and we would refer you to an oral surgeon for this type of procedure.

AFTER the extraction

After the extraction, your child will bite on a chunk of gauze until a clot forms over the wound. It’s okay for some bleeding. You only need to change the gauze several times over the course of approximately twenty minutes or until the bleeding stops.

We’ll prescribe pain medication for the soreness in your child’s jaw. If needed, apply a cold pack to your child’s cheek for 20 minutes to help reduce inflammation.

Your child should only eat soft food for 24 to 48 hours after the procedure. Tell your child not to spit or drink from a straw: the sucking action might be strong enough to dislodge the clot.

Brushing should continue, but avoid or be quite gentle around the wound area until it heals around the clot. This could take one to two weeks.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any and all questions! We love helping our patients and their families.

About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan, the offices of Drs. Plunkett, Ralstrom, Makowski, Thanasas, Ker, and Associates

Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan have specialized in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics since 1968. Our family-friendly and newly renovated office gives patients and families a more comfortable and consistent experience with dentistry from the very beginning. Our pediatric dentists treat children from newborn to 18 years of age while our orthodontists provide care for both children and adults and are proud to be Premier Providers of Invisalign and Invisalign Teen services. The ability to treat all patients with compassion and individuality, including those that may have special needs reaches beyond our facility, which has treatment rooms available for children who require additional privacy and customized care options.  We pioneered valued hospital affiliations to allow dental services to be performed at DMC Children’s Hospital and St. John Macomb Hospital, when appropriate or necessary, and our specialists are also proud to be on staff at Henry Ford and Beaumont hospitals.

39400 Garfield Rd., Suite 200
Clinton Township, MI
Phone: 586-286-0700
Fax: 586-286-5932