Oral SurgeryWatertown, MA
If you are in need of oral surgery, call (617) 209-6434 to schedule an appointment with our Watertown, MA dental office. At Pediatric Dental Arts, we can provide you with the surgical procedure your child needs to maintain or restore oral health. When it comes to dentistry, only certain dentists perform surgical procedures. Whether you are looking for a new dentist or are currently under the care of one and need more intensive procedures, we welcome your call. Dr. Raffa, can examine your child, give an opinion regarding whether or not your child needs surgery, what procedure will benefit your child, and what to expect from the process. Feel free to ask as many questions as you need in order to feel prepared and comfortable. In the meantime, here are a few frequently asked questions we hear in our dentist office.
Why do people get oral surgery?
There are three main reasons that a surgical procedure might be necessary. The first is your child's health. Tooth decay is incredibly common. If your child receives regular dental care, it is easy to catch and treat tooth decay before it causes discomfort or spreads. Unfortunately, too many people do not visit the dentist on a regular basis and allow the infections to set in. Occasionally, the decay becomes so bad that the tooth has to be removed. Other times, it can be saved with a root canal. Regardless, immediate dental care is necessary to stop the discomfort. It may also be necessary for Dr. Raffa, to perform oral surgery and correct a problem with your child's gums.
The second reason we perform oral surgery is to remove wisdom teeth. While they do not always pose an immediate health risk, they can grow in impacted and cause discomfort. Removing them can prevent future infections and stop your child's wisdom teeth from pushing other teeth forward.
Is oral surgery used with orthodontics?
Yes, when an orthodontist straightens teeth, one of the issues they address is overcrowding. There are certain procedures that can create space in the mouth, and one of them is to extract teeth. While not always necessary, some orthodontists will make a recommendation to have one or several teeth removed as part of the treatment process. An orthodontist is also concerned about jaw alignment. Fortunately, overbites and under bites can often be treated non-invasively. However, in severe cases, oral surgery is necessary to change the position of the jaw. Whether or not you will need oral surgery as part of your orthodontic treatment is something to discuss during your initial consultation.
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How do I prepare my child for oral surgery?
At Pediatric Dental Arts, we will do whatever we can to keep your child comfortable during the procedure. Part of that is helping you both to be prepared. We believe in patient education and will go over the procedure with your child step by step. Since each patient and surgery is unique, our overview here is more generic in nature, and Dr. Raffa will want to take time with you individually. Typically, however, your child will want to avoid eating food for a few hours (possibly starting the night before). This is standard protocol when receiving anesthesia. We also recommend that you purchase some ice packs and place them in the freezer. You should plan ahead by buying soft foods, plenty of water, and anything you need to relax and stay comfortable. During our consultation, we will recommend appropriate medication to ease any discomfort your child may have after the procedure.
Can you provide my child with oral surgery if he or she is currently being treated by another dentist?
Yes, we can. When you visit our Watertown dental office, let us know if you are being treated by a dentist and if they mentioned you needing oral surgery. Not everyone performs surgery, so if you want to remain in their care after the procedure has been completed, you certainly can. Otherwise, we welcome you as a new patient to our practice.
How do I prepare my child for oral surgery?
This really depends on the type of surgery being performed. As a general rule, you can expect there to be some level of bleeding that is temporary and can be controlled with the gauze we give you. You can also expect there to be swelling in your child's face. This is where most of the discomfort comes from. To control it, you will want to place an icepack on your face for 15 minutes at a time, rest for 15 minutes and then use it again. Just be careful not to irritate your child's skin and use a light cloth if you need to. Simultaneously, you should use the medication we recommend to keep your child's swelling and discomfort at a minimum. The ice is typically only used for a day or two where the pain medication may be needed for a week or so. At Pediatric Dental Arts, we may also give your child antibiotics to take in order to prevent an infection. When it comes to food, you will want to stick with things that are soft and either do not require chewing (like soup) or can be chewed very easily (like steamed vegetables). Buying these items ahead of time will make your recovery easier. Just remember to have your child take it easy. It is best to follow Dr. Raffa, and his instructions, than to risk irritating your child's surgical site.
To find out if your child needs oral surgery or to discuss a surgical procedure in greater detail, call 617-209-6434 and schedule a consultation. We will be happy to answer any questions you have and set your child on the road to surgery and a full recovery. Our offices are conveniently located in Watertown, MA, and we are currently accepting new patients.
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