Our Town: WP oral surgeon has soothing touch

Dr Tom Ferraro

Question: What’s worse than going to the dentist?

Answer: Going to an oral surgeon!

We all saw “Little Shop of Horrors” with Steve Martin playing that sadistic dentist Dr. Orin Scrivello. The scary thing about that character is that it’s not that far from the truth. Dentists equal pain. Oral surgeons equal pain plus panic.  

But do not lose hope. If you are like me and quake in fear at the thought of going to the dentist I have the solution to your problem. His name is Michael Rothberg.   

Katherine Fascilla is my dentist from Carle Place and I love her dearly. Many years ago I developed some tooth pain after root canal and she referred me to Dr. Rothberg right here at 99 Hillside Avenue. 

Rothberg is a diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. 

When I went to him I was in chronic pain and he told me I needed an apicoectomy or the surgical removal of the root. Sounds gruesome but his gentle way was enough to keep me calm and make the whole thing run smoothly despite my terror. Then the pain was gone, gone, gone. 

An oral surgeon performs extractions, wisdom tooth surgery, dental implants, apicoectomies and deals with dental infections. Sounds like pretty tough stuff but he has the perfect demeanor for all this. He is professional, easygoing, reassuring and funny. Good combo. 

Rothberg went to McGill University in Montreal and then to Stony Brook University before setting up practice here in Williston Park. 

I asked him about people’s fear of dentists and he told me that nowadays with the use of sedation, anesthesia and Novocaine, pain is fully controlled. He also said that with children receiving sealants and fluoride treatments tooth decay is greatly reduced. He told me the best thing to do to protect my teeth is to floss every night and to brush morning and night for at least two minutes. 

He said that the future of dentistry is in aesthetics which will whiten and straighten teeth.  He remarked to me that Americans have by far the best teeth and nicest smiles of any nation thanks to dentistry. I recall my father always talking about a person’s nice smile or teeth when I was younger and I would not really care about it. But as I have gotten older I think that a nice smile is a real sign of both beauty and of health.  

So I guess we ought thank people like Dr. Fascilla and Dr. Rothberg who spend their days reassuring scared patients, taking them out of pain and making them more beautiful to look at. 

I guess they are artists in a way, artists of the mouth. And who doesn’t want a pretty smile to show to the world.

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