Even though baby teeth will frequently fall out on their own as the adult tooth underneath pushes its way into the mouth, there are times where a baby tooth needs to be extracted.
Replacing Baby Teeth That Have Been Extracted
In general, we only try to replace missing or extracted baby teeth that will affect spacing and how the permanent teeth come in. In these cases, we hold the needed space with an appliance known as a space maintainer.
- Very deep cavities – if a tooth has deep decay we will often try to maintain the tooth with a baby root canal. However, if a baby root canal is not an option because the decay is too deep, then the tooth will need to be extracted.
- Failed baby root canal – baby root canals are important procedures because they help us to maintain teeth that would otherwise need to be extracted. There are times, however, when a baby root canal does not work, and in these cases, we need to take the tooth out.
- Over-retention – sometimes a baby tooth that should have come out does not come out when expected. In this case, we say that the tooth is over-retained, and if we determine that the tooth is not going to come out on its own (it’s not loose), we may extract the tooth in order to let the permanent tooth underneath properly erupt.
- Trauma – we make every effort to save teeth that have been traumatized, but there are times where a tooth that has been chipped or broken or shifted cannot be saved, and needs to be taken out.