Both of my children have been to see our local oral surgeon.
I was nervous when they were referred to the oral surgeon. The title makes him sound so much more intimidating than our dentist! My children were also anxious, with good reason. Having teeth removed is not anyone’s idea of a good time. Luckily, everything went smoothly for both of my children. Here is what to expect if your child sees an oral surgeon.
The journey to the oral surgeon begins at the dentist’s office.
Both of my children got x-rays taken during their routine cleaning appointments at the dentist. These x-rays showed some issues, so the orthodontist also looked them over. The conclusion was that both of my children needed tooth removal. Simple tooth removals can take place right at the dentist’s office with just local anesthesia, where they inject lidocaine to numb the area and the patient stays awake. However, for more complicated issues, the dentist will refer the patient to the oral surgeon. My son’s molar was in a complicated position and my daughter needed four teeth removed at once, so they both got referrals to the oral surgeon.
After our dentist gave us a referral to the oral surgeon, I called his office and made an appointment.
There was a lot of paperwork to fill out, but luckily, it could all be done online. The first appointment was for a consultation. At this appointment, the oral surgeon will look in your child’s mouth and they will have all the x-rays and other important information that your dentist’s office shared with him. This is your chance to ask any questions. Don’t be afraid to speak up! The oral surgeon will also give you all the instructions you will need for the tooth removal. Make sure to read everything and call the office if you have any questions later on.
Your child cannot eat for 12 hours before their appointment with the oral surgeon.
This is why they generally make appointments early in the morning. My children couldn’t eat or drink anything after midnight. This rule is to avoid complications during anesthesia. We took away our children’s water cups that they usually keep by their beds. As another reminder, our Elf on the Shelf roped off the kitchen on the morning of my daughter’s appointment. While my kids didn’t enjoy skipping breakfast, they were reassured that they could eat whatever they wanted after their appointment.
At the appointment, you can stay with your child until they go to sleep.
My daughter wore pajamas and brought her favorite stuffed animal to help her feel better. First, your child will get a mask on their nose to administer nitrous oxide, which will help them relax. Then, they will get injected with the general anesthetic. Once your child is asleep, you will go to the waiting room for the duration of the procedure. You will return once everything is done and your child wakes up. Your child will probably be groggy for a while.
Your child will come home from the oral surgeon’s office with gauze packed in their mouth.
My daughter thought that she looked like a walrus. Be prepared that there will still be some bleeding for a little while. My son was super tired after his procedure, so he slept for most of the morning after we came home. My daughter insisted that she wasn’t tired at all. Every child is different. Both of my children stayed home from school on the day of the procedure, but both were happy to return to school the next day.
Your child can eat anything they want after their appointment with the oral surgeon is finished.
My son chose to have ice cream for lunch. My daughter chose macaroni and cheese. In general, their food should be something on the soft side. Hard foods could scrape the surgery sites and cause pain. You may also want to avoid acidic foods, such as citrus juices, which might sting. Also avoid things like popcorn or pretzels, which could lead to pieces getting stuck in the mouth.