Pediatric & Adolescent Oral Surgery
Caring for Children and Adolescents
We feel strongly that positive health care experiences throughout an individual’s developmental years make an important contribution to adult health and health maintenance. When treating your child’s oral surgery needs, we focus on their emotional needs as well – helping them feel safe and secure, explaining treatment in understandable language, encouraging their questions, providing reassurance and motivating their participation. It is our primary goal to treat your child with the highest standards of safety in the most comfortable manner.
Oral Surgery procedures most commonly performed for children and adolescents are:
Dental decay is no longer the main reason we remove primary, or baby teeth. Because of potential crowding of the permanent teeth, we often remove primary teeth – before they fall out on their own – to help encourage proper eruption of the permanent teeth and minimize crowding. Sometimes a large number of baby teeth will be removed at the same time but most often we will see your child several times over a period of years to remove the baby teeth in a timely manner. Some primary teeth need to be removed because become fused to the jawbone and refuse to fall out on their own.
Frenectomy — Treating Tongue Tie
Very often children develop extra muscle and connective tissue fibers in their mouth, which can affect the position of teeth or movement of the tongue. A group of these extra fibers is called a frenum and they are usually located under the tongue (preventing a full range of tongue movement and possibly affecting speech) or under the upper or lower lip (affecting the spacing between the two front teeth as well as the health of the surrounding gum tissue.
Releasing these fibers to eliminate these undesirable effects is a relatively straightforward office procedure. Usually performed with local anesthesia and either “Laughing Gas” (Nitrous Oxide Analgesia) or General Anesthesia, there is usually little post-operative discomfort. If “stitches” are used, they will dissolve and fall out on their own over a two-week period.
Most cases are treated with a Laser which eliminates bleeding and the need for stitches.
Exposure of Impacted or Non-erupted permanent teeth
Usually because of inadequate room, it is often necessary to expose an unerupted or impacted tooth to allow it to erupt on its own in a timely manner. It is often necessary, in conjunction with orthodontic care, to bond a bracket onto the surface of the tooth and attach it to your braces. This allows your orthodontist to guide the unerupted tooth into its proper location.
Evaluation of growth and development of the face and jaws
We work closely with your orthodontist to evaluate your child’s mouth, jaws, and face to determine if there are any growth concerns which could benefit from orthodontic and/or oral surgical intervention. Please see our section on Jaw Surgery for more details.
Accident, injury and trauma care
An examination of any child who has sustained any type of injury to the teeth or face is strongly recommended. When children experience injuries to their primary, or baby, teeth, the treatment is often different than for permanent teeth. One of us is on-call 24 hours per day, seven days per week should your child be injured and require our services.
Safe and Effective Sedation and Anesthesia
Your child’s safety is our primary concern. We have a wide variety of anesthetic options, which allow us to treat your child’s specific needs in the most appropriate manner. At your consultation appointment, we will review these options with you after determining the type of treatment required and assessing your child’s emotional needs.