January 11, 2012

Teeth extraction

A day before school reopened, babysitter noticed that one of Yiu Yiu’s permanent lower central incisors has sprouted and is growing behind her current milk teeth with the other one just about to cut through her gums.

I took her to the dentist last Saturday and we were advised to extract both lower central incisors to make way for the permanent ones.  Yiu Yiu was extremely nervous about it and she kept saying that she didn’t want to pull out her teeth, that she wanted to let them fall off on their own. The dentist and I reasoned with her that the teeth needed to be extracted so that her permanent teeth will have space to grow – otherwise she would end up with uneven teeth, so she reluctantly agreed.

The dentist explained the procedure to her and informed her she’ll be injecting some medicine into her gums and we assured her that it would not cause too much pain – just like an ant bite. However, when the needle was inserted into her gum, she cried out really loud. It must have hurt a lot, so not merely an ant bite :-(

She was still crying after the injection so the dentist tried to calm her down and asked her to choose a gift from her treasure box. We needed to wait a couple of minutes anyway, for the anaesthetic to work before jabbing in twice more. The pain must have subsided by then as she was back to her usual chirpy self. When it was time for the second and third jab, the dentist assured her that her gum had gone to sleep and she would not feel any pain and the two jabs went in smoothly. She didn’t like the taste of the anaesthetic in her mouth though, complaining that it was salty and had to keep rinsing her mouth.

She asked what the dentist would do next, and when told that it was time to extract her teeth, she got really terrified – kept saying that she didn’t want to do it, and even said that she’d prefer that I pull her teeth out with a string, coz I related to her how her kindy friend got his loose tooth pulled out. It took some time to calm her down, and I was also getting anxious as I was worried that the numbness would wear off. I think what did the trick was that we told her if she didn’t pull them out then, we would have to make another trip and she had to go through another round of painful injection!

Very reluctantly she leaned back against the chair. We asked her to close her eyes but she insisted on seeing the tool that the dentist was holding. I guess she needed to anticipate what exactly would happen next so the dentist obliged and showed her the flat spatula-like tool that she would use to loosen her teeth, and she cringed slightly during the procedure. She was on the verge of crying again when shown the dental forcep that would be used to extract the teeth and we reassured her that she would not feel any pain. She groaned a bit during the extraction, and after that, commented that it was painful but I’m guessing she just felt the tugging action rather than real pain.

The anaesthetic injection, and extraction

Look at her solemn and pitiful face.  Can you spot the teary eye as well?

The dentist placed the teeth in a bag for her, and asked her to put them under her pillow for the tooth fairy. I chipped in and said, “The tooth fairy with exchange the teeth with a gift for you.” She threw me an incredulous look and said, “But I thought you said there’s no such thing as fairies in this world.”  Ooppss!

(She watches this movie and asked me before if fairies were real and I told her NO)

So that’s how my firstborn lost her first milk teeth. The experience must have been quite distressing for her! I hope it didn't scare her off too much to the extent she develops a phobia of visiting dentists in the future, coz she has always been a good patient. Read about her previous encounters here, here and here.


Hui-Wearn said...

IMHO - no need to extract the milk teeth as yet.

Since YY was reluctant and scared, i would say to wait for another 3 mths and observe the growth of the permanent teeth.

if the permanent teeth are out at least HALF WAY through and the milk teeth are FIRM and not mobile at all, then by all means, extract them. otherwise, just leave the milk teeth alone and they will indeed fall off on their own or a simple extraction without a needle may be needed.

The lower permanent teeth usually erupt BEHIND the milk teeth. As they slowly erupt in the mouth, the roots of the milk teeth will slowly resorb and then they will fall out.

Extracting the milk teeth at this stage doesn't guarantee that her permanent teeth will not be 'crooked'

Small Kucing said...

The dentist is VERY GOOD! Not always can find dentist that have patience like that

WK Liew said...

Yeah saw her w/o her teeth the other day, quite a big gap. Hope her new teeth will grow nicely now

Ben and Shaun said...

I experienced the exact same thing for my eldest son. He had the permanent teeth growing behind and had to extract two milk teeth.

KittyMom said...

Poor Yiu Yiu! I can see her teary eyes quite clearly. But she's amazingly good to sit through the ordeal.

The boy? 8 fillings that took 8 trips! Luckily, his front teeth fell out on their own. Quite gappy though and I wonder if he'll need braces in future.

Our main problem is his molars - definitely need to get them filled before CNY. I really hope he'll sit still and get it done!

A Mom's Diary said...

HW - thanks for sharing, I didn't know the roots of the milk teeth will resorb! Hers were still firmly planted when extracted.

small kucing - yup, that's why I keep going back to this clinic whenever Yiu Yiu needs any treatment.

WK - seems like it's growing out now, in place of her milk tooth.

Ben & Shaun - seems like quite a common thing nowadays. Must be all the calcium in their milk :-)

Kittymom - 8 trips for 8 fillings? We did 2-3 fillings at one go to minimise the number of trips.

Molars are more important to care for, since the permanent molars take a much longer time to appear.

Truly said...

My son has today gone through exactly the same thing, having been on regular visits to the dentist over the past year in an attempt to get his teeth sorted.

His experience appears to be identical to Yiu Yiu's, but he also has some on the top which need to come out in April. Takes a very brave kid to go through this - I even had to lay in the chair holding my son tight before he'd agree to the injection! He also was very interested to see every instrument that the dentist was going to use, and was happier once he'd seen and held them.

He's now asleep happily with his two front teeth under his pillow :)