A sealant is a tooth-colored material applied to the chewing surfaces (grooves) of the permanent molars where most cavities form. This sealant acts as a barrier to food, plaque, and acid, thus protecting the decay-prone areas of the teeth, especially as they develop. Cavities between the teeth, in the flossing spots, are not protected by sealants. As long as no cavity already exists on the biting surface, we recommend sealants on the 1st and 2nd permanent molars (also called the 6-year & 12-year molars, respectively).
If the decay is deep or too large, the tooth is not able to be saved. Thus, the only option is to extract the tooth.
Untreated decay in baby teeth can lead to more serious oral health conditions and/or diseases. This includes the bacteria from an infected baby tooth spreading, which can cause permanent damage to the developing adult teeth underneath. The infection can also spread and be life-threatening.
Pain and sensitivity are also common if a baby tooth has been chipped, cracked, or detached from the socket due to injury. Infection can occur when a tooth has been injured and will need to be extracted.
Teeth that have not fallen out on their own at the appropriate age, known as over-retained teeth, are typically recommended for extraction to allow for the proper eruption of adult teeth. Adult teeth can also erupt above the over-retained primary teeth which result in the misalignment of teeth and the need for orthodontic treatment in the future. Dental crowding is also another reason an orthodontist will recommend extractions.
- Local anesthetic will be needed for the extraction procedure. Refer to local anesthetic post-op instructions for numbness.
- After the extraction, your child should bite on gauze for at least 30 minutes or until bleeding stops. Change the gauze as needed.
- Do not rinse, spit, or use straws, bottles, sippy cups or pacifiers for the remainder of the day. The sucking may cause prolonged bleeding. After the first 24 hours, your child can begin to gently rinse with warm salt water.
- For the next 24 hours, your child should maintain a soft diet, avoid any hot, spicy and acidic foods, and brush gently around the extraction site. Warm salt water rinse or the use of Peroxyl can be helpful.
- If your child is experiencing any discomfort, you can give Tylenol or Motrin as needed.
- If pain or discomfort persists or bleeding is not controlled, contact our office.
Whether an accident happens during our normal business hours or not, know that you can call us and have your child treated promptly.
Call our office at 757-703-1923. If it is after hours or on the weekend, one of our doctors or a team member will get back to you.