If a child has crowded teeth within the mouth, a serial extraction may need to be performed by a pediatric dentist in order to overcome the issue.
What is a Serial Extraction?
A serial extraction is a dental procedure that helps to reduce the crowding of the teeth. Crowding is a situation that occurs when there is not ample space within the mouth for all of the teeth to come through.
Crowding may result in the teeth that are currently within the mouth becoming irregularly shaped, crooked, and/or may cause discomfort for a child.
A serial extraction aids in the creation of space for the permanent teeth that will grow within the mouth. Additionally, it helps to ensure that those teeth are properly aligned.
The Initiation of the Procedure
Between the ages of 5 to 7 years old, a pediatric dentist can usually determine if the teeth in a child’s mouth are going to become crowded. This is the period when the front teeth in the lower portion of the mouth starts to grow.
If the dentist determines that a serial extraction may need to be performed, an x-ray is performed of the mouth. This is done to see if the permanent teeth can be seen and are growing properly within the jaws.
Additionally, a model of the teeth in the child’s mouth may be taken in order to establish a record of the general condition of their current teeth. The child may need to see the dental professional every 3 months or so. This is to monitor the growth of the teeth and to ensure that any extractions required are done at the appropriate time.
How Many Teeth are Taken Out in Serial Extractions?
The severity associated with the teeth crowding within the mouth will determine how many teeth need to be taken out. In the most severe of cases, up to a total of 4 may be removed. The teeth removed will be the permanent premolars.
Will the Teeth Naturally Align or Will Braces Be Needed?
The serial extractions are performed in order to reduce the overall effects of crowding within the teeth. In the less severe cases, removal of the problem teeth will often help with the overall alignment of the rest of the teeth.
In the most severe cases, the child may need to wear braces in order to improve the alignment of the teeth that remain in the mouth. In these instances, the child will not have to wear braces as long as other kids that may require the use of braces.
Where Do I Go for Serial Extractions for My Child?
If your child requires serial extractions due to crowding, you will likely end up seeing a pediatric dentist. This is a restorative care procedure that is easily performed. We here at Richmond Pediatric Dentistry currently offer serial extractions to our patients.