Pain prevention should be managed a bit differently for children. Depending upon the parent’s preference, the age and health of the child, and the Dr. Ahn’s comfort level, a general anesthesia may be used for a child who is receiving a tooth extraction. A topical numbing ointment will most certainly be used, often tasting of bubble gum or some such flavor. A shot may also be given as well. If the child is not frightened of the dentist or the procedure, they are more likely to be excited about their upcoming tooth fairy visit, than to be worried about the pain. It is always better to use as few painkillers as possible on children, while paying close attention to making certain that they are not suffering.
After applying whatever numbing agents have been chosen, the Dr. Ahn will use an elevator to wedge between the tooth and the bone surrounding it. This expands the tooth’s socket and separates its ligament. The extraction forceps will then be used, manipulating the tooth from side to side and rotating it for further socket expansion and ligament separation. When properly prepared this way, the tooth will be pulled upon to slide out of the socket in its entirety.
Bleeding is typical after a tooth has been extracted. This may last for only about a day. A small piece of gauze will be applied to the area of the tooth extraction. This should be kept in place for long enough for the blood to clot. It is important for the child’s mouth to be kept as clean as possible during the healing period. This can be done by rinsing the mouth with salt water several times per day. If any additional swelling occurs or if the child begins to feel additionally ill or comes down with a fever, then be certain to call the dentist immediately in case of infection. This rarely happens though. Children’s Tylenol or Ibuprofen should be purchased if Dr. Ahn did not already prescribe a painkiller for your child to increase their comfort after the extraction is complete. It is often best if these not be used until the blood clot has formed. It may be good to apply a bag of ice to the outside of the child’s jaw to keep swelling to a minimum and to aid in numbing the pain.