Understanding the Scope of Pediatric Oral Surgery

Happy kid visiting the dentist and taking good care of his teeth-2

Pediatric Oral Surgery may be needed when a child’s teeth are growing abnormally, have become infected or an accident has damaged them in some irreparable way. Irregularities happen, but the most important thing to remember is to deal with them promptly so that the condition doesn’t permanently affect the child’s dental development.

Here are some pediatric dental issues where oral surgery might be necessary:

Impacted Teeth

Impacted teeth are common in children and need to be addressed before they cause further issues. Impacted teeth in children can occur when a baby tooth blocks the path of new adult tooth not allowing it to surface or if there is not enough space in the jaw resulting in crowding. This can happen when baby teeth fail to fall out, or when a baby tooth falls out but the other baby teeth shift into the opening. Permanent teeth coming in tend to be bigger than baby teeth and a child's small mouth can get overcrowded quickly. This can then lead to a number of problems ranging from the teeth or the jaws not growing in the correct direction, to displacement of the teeth, or even cysts or tumors. Left untreated, the teeth can “stuck” in the jaw bone, making them much harder to move or extract later in life. Solutions for problems like these may be the extraction of baby teeth to make way for the new permanent teeth to grow in, or surgically uncovering and assisting the permanent teeth to come in.

Broken, Severely Decayed or Infected Teeth

Parents may have trouble taking care of their child’s baby (also know as primary) teeth, whether it's because of the smallness of the mouth, the unwillingness of the child or other reasons, it's never an easy task! Tooth decay can sneak up on you quickly and accidents that result in broken teeth can happen. In any of these situations it may be necessary to extract or remove the damaged teeth before they cause further damage.

Frenectomy Procedures

In some cases, particularly in very young children, the tongue or lip connection to the inside of the mouth may be formed incorrectly, causing restricted movement of the tongue or lips. This can be a problem with proper infant feeding, eating, swallowing, or speaking correctly. A frenectomy procedure can correct this condition safely and comfortably by separating the restricted tissue, thus allowing a child to eat, speak and function normally instead of with difficulty. 

A Serious Team for Pediatric Care Results

Providing comprehensive care to every pediatric patient treated, the Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery team is comprised of board-certified oral surgeons as well as our anesthesiologist, if appropriate, who operate daily as a highly coordinated team. Our approach involves regular coordination between the team’s surgeons as well as with the orthodontists and dentists referring the patient to Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery for treatment. We have extensive training in the safe management of pediatric patients. We are all Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) certified and ensure that we have all appropriately sized and operating equipment for the safe treatment of the pediatric patient. We run regular training scenarios to ensure that our team is always operating at our best for you. Most importantly, our pediatric patients regain their life and innocent childhood again instead of struggling with easily-corrected dental issues. 

Call or email us today to find out more information or to schedule an appointment at one of our six locations in the Northwest Houston area.  

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