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. Ramirez may recommend removal. Infection, orthodontic correction, or problems with a wisdom tooth can also require removal of a tooth.

The root of each tooth is encased within the jawbone in a “tooth socket,” and the tooth is held in that socket by a ligament. In order to extract a tooth, the socket needs to be expanded and separate the tooth from the ligament holding it in place. While this procedure is typically very quick, it is important to share with Dr. Ramirez any concerns or preferences for sedation.

Once a tooth has been removed, neighboring teeth may shift, needing placement of a space maintainer.

After tooth extraction

After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. Have your child bite on a gauze pad for 15 minutes immediately after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and have your child bite firmly for another 15 minutes.

After the blood clot forms it is important to not disturb or dislodge the clot. Remind your child not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, brush teeth next to the extraction site for 24 hours. These activities may dislodge or dissolve the clot and hinder the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours, as this increases blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.

It is important to resume your child’s normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.