Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of a dental surgery center?
A dental surgery center offers a hospital-like setting for doctors to perform complex dental procedures while patients are under general anesthesia in a safe, controlled environment . These centers are staffed by clinical professionals, such as board-certified anesthesiologists, pediatric dentists, registered nurses, and LPNs. Performing dental surgery will allow our young patients’ mouths to be restored to 100% oral health, and there are many benefits to doing so. Restorative treatment will ensure your child no longer experiences pain and will allow them to continue healthy development, ensuring proper space for adult teeth to grow into. Healthy teeth assist with eating, speech development, and most importantly, maintaining confidence in growing children.
What is sleep dentistry?
"Sleep dentistry" is simply another term that can be used to describe the performance of dental procedures, in a hospital-like setting, while the patient is under general anesthesia. Sleep dentistry is not recommended for all patients. However, when necessary, it can ensure patients obtain the dental and restorative services they require in a calm, comfortable, and safe environment.
Which children should have dental surgery?
There are a number of factors that help dentists determine if a child would benefit from being treated at a surgery center, including age, behavior, and the amount of work required. The three main types of patients are:
- Young children who need significant dental work. For example, if a child is unable to sit still to have x-rays taken in the office, they will struggle to remain relaxed and cooperative for a dental procedure that can take 30 minutes or more. A child who is unable to remain still will put themselves at risk for accidental injury during procedures.
- Children who are afraid and experience anxiety. These patients will also struggle to sit in a dental chair, and their fear of the dentist will likely increase if procedures are performed while they are awake.
- Patients who have special needs. These children may also be unable to remain still or may have anxiety.
What are the benefits of dental surgery?
Dental surgery can help alleviate fear, anxiety, and stress in young patients so that they no longer fear going to the dentist. It can also improve safety, as it’s important for patients to sit very still during dental procedures in order for dentists to use instruments and mechanical equipment safely. If children are unable to remain still and calm, then dental surgery may be the best option. The safety of children is always our priority—our anesthesiologists are state- and board-certified. We also have RNs present in the room at all times while patients are in surgery.
Why fix baby teeth at all if they aren’t permanent?
There are several reasons to fix primary, or baby, teeth:
- Primary teeth are important because they help guide proper eruption of the permanent teeth.
- Untreated primary teeth can affect the development of the permanent teeth.
- Primary teeth help maintain good nutrition with proper chewing.
- Primary teeth help with the development of speech.
- Every child’s smile affects their sense of self-esteem and confidence in life.
- Not treating the teeth can result in a patient becoming in serve pain and possibly developing an abscess. An Abscess is a collection of pus that has accumulated in a cavity formed within a tissue because of an inflammatory process in response to either an infection process, usually caused by bacteria. An abscess can be very dangerous and lead to swelling and severe pain.
What services are offered at Children’s Dental Surgery?
While most any necessary dental work can be completed in our centers, our typical treatments include:
- Filling cavities
- Placing crowns
- Tooth extractions
Why are X-rays taken in the operating room?
Once a patient is under general anesthesia, the dentist will take a new set of full mouth x-rays in the operating room – even if the patient recently had x-rays taken in the office. This is done to ensure any treatment that needs completed is done at this visit – avoiding extra hassle, trauma, and missed school for the child, as well as extra time and fees for the parent. When teeth are under the process of decay, bacteria can be very unpredictable and can spread quickly. Your child’s dentists do not want to miss any changes that could have taken place.
What insurances are accepted?
We accept most major dental plans, as well as Medicaid and Pennsylvania Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Insurance plans vary in their coverage of services and procedures. Some plans cover the majority of procedure costs, while others cover as little as 30%. Our friendly staff is here to help guide parents in understanding their costs, and can provide instruction on how to best work with your insurance company for payment of the treatment required. For a list of in-network insurance providers, please view our comprehensive list here.
Will insurance cover my child’s procedure?
The proposed dental work that your child needs will be submitted to your dental insurance company to determine how much your dental insurance will cover. The following is a general breakdown of how dental insurances typically reimburse:
- If your child is covered under Medicaid: there is no financial responsibility on the part of the patient.
- If your child is covered under a commercial dental plan: frequently these insurances break dental work into procedure types that require you, as the dental insurance holder, to be responsible for a percentage of the work completed. For example, if your child needs a filling, the insurance company may pay 80% of the reimbursable rate and you will be responsible for 20%. We are happy to work with you on navigating specific procedure costs.