Child Patient Information
Before Your Child's Surgery
You likely will have been provided with some instructions from your dentist's office. It is important to follow these instructions carefully in order to prevent delays or cancellation of your child's surgery.
A) Preparation for surgery
Most children will have had a trip to their family physician to look for problems that could interfere with their surgery and anesthetic. This is not always done and depends on the routine of your dentist. You also will hopefully have had a chance to fill out our patient pre-anesthetic questionnaire at your surgeon's office (if not, we will have you complete this on the day of your operation when you arrive at the centre).
B) Fasting Guidelines
Children should have no solid food for 8 hours prior to surgery. Your child can have clear fluids (water, apple juice, non-pulp orange juice) up until 3 hours prior to their surgery time. Fluids that are NOT acceptable include milk and fruit juices with pulp in them. We suggest that parents try to refrain from drinking in front of their children during this time of fasting. If you are in doubt about these guidelines please call the centre or your dentists' office for clarification.
C) What to Wear
Please wear loose comfortable clothing on the day of surgery. A change of clothes can occasionally come in handy but is usually not needed.
D) Who should come?
Ideally it is best to have one parent (or two) per child. If possible it is best to leave siblings at home if babysitting can be arranged. This allows full attention to be given to the child undergoing the procedure and generally provides a more calm preparation time.
During Your Child's Surgery
Nowadays, surgery and anesthesia are very safe. There are however risks and benefits involved related to the surgery and anesthetic you are having. Your dentist will have discussed the risks and benefits of your particular operation in detail. You will see your child's anesthesiologist prior to the operation and he/she will be able to answer any questions you may have about the anesthetic.
Healthy children may have what is called an inhalation induction in which a mask is placed over the mouth and nose. After a few breaths he/she will get sleepy. Using this technique in children avoids the fear of getting a needle. We do allow parents to come into the operating room to smooth out the process of getting a child to sleep. Some parents may find watching their child loose consciousness disturbing and therefore, may not wish to accompany their child into the operating room. Some anesthesiologists may prefer to place an intravenous catheter prior to the child falling asleep.
After Your Childs' Operation
Every child reacts differently to surgery and anesthesia. Nausea and vomiting are not uncommon despite aggressive treatment. It usually subsides fairly quickly. Depending on the type of dental work your child had performed the amount of discomfort is variable. It can usually be treated well with acetaminophen (eg Tylenol). Your dentist will advise the type of diet to resume after the surgery.