If your preschooler needs one or more of their teeth extracted, the procedure and the discomfort afterward can be traumatic for both you and your little one. Fortunately, there several options for pain management that an experienced pediatric dental professional can provide to your child during the extraction and to help them recover in the days after.
Knowing the right questions to ask your dentist can help you plan for the procedures.
#1-How Much Experience Do You Have With This type of Extraction On Young Children?
Given that about one in four children between the ages of two and five suffer from dental decay, your child is one of many needing dental work or extractions. When an extraction becomes necessary, it is often due to the presence of severe decay that would rule out saving the baby tooth.
All extractions are not the same. For example, pulling a molar is often more complex than pulling a front tooth and extracting a tooth that is or was recently infected is frequently more challenging than pulling a healthier tooth that needs to be removed for aesthetic purposes. That means that you need to be sure that the dentist has experience with the specific dental problems your child has. In addition, he or she should have a good bedside manner with kids.
#2-What Type Of Pain Medication Will Your Child Receive During The Procedure?
You may be surprised to learn that children can often receive the same types of anesthesia during dental work that adult do, including:
- Sleeping dentistry-very rare and usually involves general anesthesia that is done in the hospital
- Laughing gas-relaxes your little one while preventing pain, helps with anxiety
- Sedation-incudes a variety of medications that keep your child conscious but either very relaxed or in "twilight" sleep, where they have little memory of the event.
Therefore, you need to determine what type of medication your child will be getting during the extraction. The medication they get during the dental work may impact the type and amount of medications you can give them after.
#3-What Medications Will My Child Get When We Go Home?
Many children do well with just over-the counter pain medications, while others need something stronger. In addition, many patients have reported nausea following anesthesia or extractions, so it is a good idea to ask what to do if that occurs. Obviously, if your child starts to vomit, their gums will hurt more and pain pills may not be digested.
Therefore, you should consider asking for something just-in-case nausea or vomiting occurs. Alternatively, you can make sure that you have emergency contact information for the dentist or oral surgeon.
In conclusion, many children need to have at least one tooth removed prior to starting school. Planning ahead for effective post-op pain management is a crucial part of making your child more comfortable with the dental work, so remember to ask the tough questions. Contact a local dentist, like William J Guthrie DDS PC, for more information.