If you're a parent who slips some money under your child's pillow each time they lose a tooth, you might need to put some cash aside when your child's pediatric dentist tells you that your child needs a certain procedure. Sometimes it's necessary to extract multiple baby teeth before they would have fallen out of their own accord. But why does this need to happen?
Dental crowding is a relatively common problem. It's when teeth have inadequate space in the dental arch to become properly aligned and can become rotated or overlapped. This is typically corrected with orthodontic treatment once a child's adult teeth have erupted. But sometimes this crowding is already evident in baby teeth, meaning that the problem is likely to be more advanced in adulthood. This is why a pediatric dentist may decide to extract multiple teeth ahead of their expected loss.
The extraction of multiple baby teeth can help adult teeth to erupt in the correct alignment, heading off spacing issues before they have a chance to become permanent. This reduces the chance that your child will need braces or other forms of orthodontic treatment in the future, although this can't be conclusively ruled out.
Just Ahead of Schedule
Your child won't be rendered toothless by this treatment, and it's not as though their dentist will remove each tooth in your child's mouth. Selected teeth are removed, but only shortly ahead of their natural schedule. A baby tooth is extracted, and an adult tooth will soon erupt to fill the empty dental socket. A temporary dental prosthesis (such as dentures) won't be necessary, but some caution with your child's diet (nothing too hard or too crunchy) will be helpful in the short term.
Multiple Extractions, Multiple Visits
Since teeth are removed slightly ahead of schedule, your child's dentist won't necessarily extract all targeted teeth in a single visit, as the schedule for baby tooth loss varies depending on the tooth. Even when multiple teeth can be removed at once, your child's dentist may wish to stagger these extractions over several visits to minimize your child's discomfort. However, in most cases, these extractions will take place over an extended period of time, with each targeted tooth being removed shortly before it would have begun to loosen of its own accord.
There's nothing to be concerned about when your child requires multiple extractions. Dental extractions are incredibly straightforward, and if your child has any anxiety about the process, they can just think of the cash the tooth fairy will be leaving under their pillow.
For more information, contact a pediatric dentist in your area.