Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Taking out the whole tooth

Sometime last week, my princess was complaining of pain in her upper right front tooth. On examination, I found the filling that I put in 2 years ago to be intact. Perhaps I was in denial and therefore did not really notice the discolouration in the non-vital (dead) tooth.

So while we were in Malacca, she went up to my boss and said, "Aunty tooth is painful. My mama cannot see anything wrong...."
One look at it and my boss said, "It's non-vital la...." , much to my horror!!!
After considering my options, I decided to go with extraction. I mentally-prepared her, explaining why the tooth needed to come out.
Before taking the tooth out, I took an impression to enable me to make a bridge later on.
She was very brave indeed and cried only a little at the first needle prick. Thereafter, there were no more tears. Not even when I pulled the tooth out. Definitely my best patient, ever.
Looks like the tooth has been non-vital for a while. She's had a few knocks and bumps so I can't be sure if any of it caused the tooth to become non-vital or if it was from the decay 2 years back.
After the tooth came out, she happily chose her present from the 'treasure box' and smiled for the camera.
I thought she looked rather cute - like a 6-year-old!

The next day, I took her in to clinic again to construct a bridge that would close the gap and restore her smile.

On the way to clinic, she asked me, "How many teeth do children have?" to which I answered "20". Then she said, "That means I only have 19 teeth now". I was impressed!
The composite tooth is bonded only on one side to the other front tooth. She looks like a 4-year-old again. We'll see how long it stays there.
Now she obediently lets me brush her teeth properly.


  1. If there is pain, we should extract the tooth? I had the impression that we should not touch any tooth unless it's shaking or badly infected. She is blessed to have you as mom whm is a dentist. I would say the bridge is not necessary but closing up will bring out more confidence in her.. ( my thoughts la)

  2. I extracted the tooth not because of pain,but because it's a dead tooth.
    Yeah the bridge is not really necessary....purely for aesthetic purpose. But since her mum is a dentist, why not.... Besides, she was a very obedient patient. I explained to her that she had to hold still and let me put in cotton roll and use the suction so I can keep the area dry. She was excellent!

  3. Priscilla, can you explain why some kids have non-vital teeth? Does it have any detrimental effect on the permanent tooth? When do you have to take the bridge out?

  4. Teeth can become non-vital from deep decay affecting the pulp or hard impact like falls which is common amongst young children. Effect on permanent teeth depends on what stage of development it is at which is directly related to age of child at time of incident. There's a risk of white opaque/brown/yellow discoloration to permanent teeth.
    I'll take the bridge out at the first sign of the permanent successor cutting thru the gums. That is if the adjacent tooth (to which it is attached) doesn't drop off first.