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What Age Is Too Young for Dental Surgery?

Looking up into three oral surgeon faces as they hold dental tools

When your child is in pain, you want nothing more than for the pain to stop as soon as possible. At Tots to Teens Pediatric Dentistry, we want the same thing for your children. Occasionally, we determine that oral surgery is the best option for your child. But sometimes, parents are understandably reluctant to have their children undergo dental surgery. Today, we want to take a moment to explain why dental surgery might be the right choice for your child and how we determine whether a patient is too young for dental surgery.

Why Would My Child Need Dental Surgery?

While it is rare that we would recommend dental surgery on very young children, sometimes it is the best option for restoring your child’s health. Occasionally, we see young patients with such extensive decay and cavities that an extraction or other oral surgery is the only way to effectively treat their dental issues. For example, if a young patient has a severe cavity that is affecting their tooth’s nerve and causing a toothache, we may perform a pulpotomy (also known as a baby root canal). During this procedure, we remove the infected portion of the nerve, clean the remaining part, and then cover it with a protective filling. Then, we place a crown to stabilize the tooth and prevent further damage. While this procedure may sound scary, it is beneficial to our patients because it saves their natural tooth and helps stop the pain from the infection.

How Young Is Too Young?

Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule about who is too young for dental surgery. We approach each of our patients individually and customize our care based on their dental history and the severity of their dental condition. But we assure you that our experienced team will choose the safest and most effective treatment option for your child!

How Do I Help My Child Avoid Extensive Dental Treatment?

Often the best way to reduce your child’s risk of needing dental surgery and extensive dental treatment is to help them practice good preventive care from a young age. Even before they develop teeth, you should clean their gums with a moist cloth. After they get their baby teeth, gently brush their teeth twice daily to help their teeth grow in healthy and strong. Within six months of when your child’s first tooth erupts, bring your child to see us for a checkup, and bring them back every six months so we can make sure their oral health is in tip-top condition. Also be sure to set a good example of daily oral hygiene by taking care of your own teeth. If you have any questions for our team about how to better care for your child’s teeth or want to schedule their next checkup, contact our office today.


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