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1201 SE 223rd Ave.
Gresham, OR 97030
(503) 663-8141
Douglas Park DDS Pediatric Dentistry Douglas Park DDS Pediatric Dentistry Spaceship

Baby Teeth and Tooth Extractions


Child Smiling at his visit to Douglas L. Park, DDS, Pediatric Dentistry
One of the things parents look forward to is the emergence of the first baby teeth. These first teeth often show up at the age of 6 months. Some babies get them sooner while others get them later. Over the course of the first 2 to 3 years of life, your child will develop 20 baby teeth. While these teeth are only temporary, they are very important. When they experience decay or other damage, it is important to have them treated right away. In most cases, the affected teeth can be restored. In some cases, however, the damage may be too severe. In such cases, Douglas L. Park, DDS, Pediatric Dentistry can extract the damaged baby teeth to protect the oral health of your child.

The Importance of Baby Teeth


It is a common misconception that the baby teeth are not important. After all, they are only temporary and are eventually replaced by adult teeth. However, the baby teeth play several important roles in the mouth of your child.
•  They allow proper biting and chewing.
•  They aid in proper nutrition.
They help to foster proper speech development.
•  They give your child a beautiful smile. This can aid in providing them with a boost of confidence.
•  They hold space in the mouth for the adult teeth to come in later.

Why Might a Baby Tooth Need to Be Extracted?


When baby teeth are damaged or have suffered decay getting treatment right away is important. In most cases, these issues can be corrected with a filling or a crown. However, if the damage is too severe, restorations can compromise the health and integrity of the affected tooth and can put it at risk for further damage or infection. In these cases, extraction is the best course of action. Common reasons a baby tooth needs to be extracted include:
•  Cracks that extend below the gumline.
•  Damage that occurs at the root of the tooth.
•  A tooth that is split in half.
•  A tooth that has been shattered.
•  A large cavity.

Extracting a Baby Tooth


Baby teeth can be extracted in one of two ways. A simple extraction is a straightforward extraction that is done under local anesthetic. If your child is feeling anxious or frightened, we can also provide sedation to help them remain calm and to extract the tooth safely. The affected tooth is moved back and forth, which widens the socket so that we can lift the tooth free.
A surgical extraction is performed when the situation is more complicated. The procedure is done under a local anesthetic and sedation. In some cases, general anesthesia may be necessary. Small incisions are made in the gums, and the tooth is completely removed. Once the area has been cleaned, sutures are placed.

What Happens After an Extraction?


The baby teeth are important for holding space in the jaw for the developing adult teeth. If the baby tooth is extracted before the adult tooth is ready to erupt, a space maintainer may be used. This device is designed to hold the space in the jaw so that the adult tooth can come in properly. If the baby tooth is extracted close to the time when the adult tooth is ready to erupt, we may not have to do anything following the extraction.

While saving baby teeth is always the preferred option, keeping them in place until they are ready to fall out on their own, this is not always possible. Severely damaged or decayed teeth may need to be extracted. For more information, call Douglas L. Park, DDS, Pediatric Dentistry today at (503) 663-8141.

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Location 1201 SE 223rd Ave.
Gresham, OR 97030

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Douglas L. Park DDS Pediatric Dentistry | www.parkdds.com | (503) 663-8141
1201 SE 223rd Ave. Suite 240, Gresham, OR 97030
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