Pediatric Tooth Extractions

Why would a child need a tooth extracted?

There are a few different scenarios that could lead to a youngster requiring a tooth extraction. These may include the following:

  1. Extreme tooth decay or infection that cannot be remedied by a filling or root canal treatment.
  2. Too many teeth in too little space, which can be remedied by removing one or more teeth in order to make more room in the mouth for the remaining teeth.
  3. Teeth can get impacted when they become caught in the mouth and are unable to erupt through the gums.
  4. There are certain children who have baby teeth that do not come out on their own, which inhibits the eruption of permanent teeth.

It is essential to keep in mind that the tooth of a child should only be extracted if it is causing the child discomfort or if it is required for the child’s oral health.

If the child has to have a tooth extracted, the child’s dentist or oral surgeon will be able to determine this and will discuss the child’s alternatives with the child’s parents or legal guardians.

smiling young girl embraces her mother at her pediatric dental appointment for a tooth extraction
Boy smiling after getting a couple teeth extracted to make room for permanent teeth

Will pulling the tooth change how the permanent teeth come in?

It is possible that removing a tooth will disrupt the alignment of the permanent teeth that are still to come in. This risk is associated with having a tooth extracted. If the tooth that is being pulled is a baby tooth that is “guiding” the way for the permanent tooth to come in, then there is a greater chance that this may occur.

It is possible that the permanent tooth will come in crooked or otherwise out of alignment if a baby tooth is pulled before it is time for it to replace the space vacated by the baby tooth. In situations like these, the dentist or orthodontist who treats your child may suggest that your youngster wear a space maintainer. This is a little appliance that is placed in the gap left by the extracted tooth in order to assist retain the space open until the permanent tooth is ready to come in. While this appliance is in place, the space is held open for the permanent tooth to come in.

If the tooth that was taken is a permanent one, the teeth that are adjacent to it may shift in order to cover the gap, which can also cause the teeth to be misaligned. If this is the case, the dentist or orthodontist who treats your kid may suggest that your child have braces or some other form of orthodontic treatment to help correct the bite and straighten the teeth.

If you have worries about how an extracted tooth may influence the alignment of your child’s permanent teeth, it is vital to discuss these concerns with a dental practitioner. They are able to evaluate the circumstance and make suggestions regarding the most appropriate next steps to take.

smiling young boy playing with a toy camera outside in Granite Bay, CA
Mom and daughter play superheroes with blue shirts and red capes after a tooth extraction at Granite Bay Pediatric Dentistry

Is this procedure usually covered by dental insurance?

The exact dental insurance plan that you have will determine the level of coverage that you receive for a tooth extraction operation. Although the percentage of cost that is covered by dental insurance can vary from plan to plan, most policies pay at least some of the expense of having teeth extracted.

Tooth extractions are typically considered a “basic” dental procedure, and as such, they are typically covered in full or in part by the majority of dental insurance policies. However, the particular coverage and the amount of coverage may differ depending on the type of extraction that is being performed, the reason why the extraction is being performed, and the specific conditions of your dental insurance plan.

It is always a good idea to check with your dental insurance provider to find out what is covered under your individual plan. This may be done by calling or visiting their website. They should be able to offer you with information regarding the coverage for tooth extractions as well as information regarding any other dental procedures that you might be considering.

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