We want you and your child to have a positive experience at our practice. Our team will walk you through every step and ensure your child’s procedure runs smoothly and safely.
Hear answers to questions frequently asked by parents from one of our oral surgeons, Dr. Ben Johnson.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I go back to be with my child after the surgery?
We want you to stay in the office for the duration of the procedure. We will usually have you wait in the waiting room. We'll bring your child back, and then bring you back when they're in recovery.
Who administers the anesthesia?
We follow the Anesthesia-Operator model, and we have certified anesthesia technologists in the room with us during the entire procedure.
With general anesthesia, will my child be completely asleep during surgery?
With general anesthesia, we'll put your child to sleep to a point where they're still breathing on their own. However, they will remember nothing from the procedure, and they'll be completely comfortable.
Does my child need to have an antibiotic after surgery?
We will prescribe the medication the day of the procedure. Depending on the procedure and the specific needs of the patient will determine which medications we prescribe. We'll either electronically prescribe it, so it's ready for you when you leave the office, or we'll hand you a paper prescription.
How long will my child be numb?
If we don't use EXPAREL, expect the numbness to wear off between 4 and 12 hours. With EXPAREL, the numbness will wear off in the lips and the tongue, but usually in the surgical sites, we’re expecting numbness to remain for about 2 to 3 days.
How long will my child be in pain?
Your child’s discomfort will vary based on the procedure. Typically, it's going to peak between days 3 and 5 after the procedure.
How long will it take for the surgical sights to heal?
Depending on the procedure that we’re doing, typical surgical sites will heal between 14 and 21 days.
Will my child have stitches? If so, will they need to be removed?
We'll let you know at the end of the procedure if your child has any stitches. Typically, what we’re going to do is place stitches that dissolve by themselves.
My child had surgery this morning and is still having some bleeding. Is this normal?
It's very normal to have a little bit of oozing or spotting for a few days after the procedure. We send you home with some extra gauze, and in our post-op instructions, there's a few different tips and tricks that we'll review with you to help with the post-op bleeding. You can always give us a phone call after hours.
My child is having pain. What methods do you suggest for icing and heating?
For the first 48 hours, use ice packs. After that, you can use things like a warm compress or a bean bag that you can microwave, and you’ll hold it over the site.
Can my child eat right after surgery? How long do they have to wait?
You can eat or drink right after surgery. We just ask that you stick to softer foods
Is there anything my child should avoid eating, and for how long?
A good rule of thumb for foods that are appropriate are anything that’s not going to be making a sound when eating—anything crunchy or chewy, anything small or grainy—typically for about 1 week. We want your kids to stick to cooler foods to avoid dislodging any blood clots that we want formed after the procedure.
What can we do to avoid a dry socket?
Follow all the post-op instructions. Avoid things like spitting, sucking on a straw, smoking. If you happen to get a dry socket, and typically the pain is not controlled with any of the medication, give us a phone call. We’ll see you in the office the next day/the same day, and we’ll take care of the pain and address the situation.
How to Talk to Your Child About Oral Surgery
As a parent, it’s important to prepare your child for any upcoming surgery. Kids of all ages cope better when they know what is going on and why. Talking with your child is a great way to alleviate anxiety for both of you and result in a much smoother, more positive surgical experience.
Here are some talking points to consider when discussing oral surgery with your child:
- Avoid words such as hurt or pain. Likewise, indicating to a child that this won’t hurt or saying she will not hurt you registers to the child as something that probably will, in fact, hurt.
- Bring the child to a consultation so that they can see the environment.
- Let your child interact with the oral surgeon and staff.
- Talk about the treatment plan.
- Talk through discomfort and anxieties and stay informed so that you can answer questions.
- Provide reassurance that this is happening to improve his or her health and well-being.
- Follow pre- and post-operative instructions closely to ensure a smooth procedure and recovery.
Our practice also offers EXPAREL®, an alternative pain management option that is administered to the surgical site and provides prolonged pain relief for up to 72 hours.
Information About Procedures
Please use the following resources on our site to learn more information about some procedures that we regularly treat children for:
- Expose & Bond
- Distraction Osteogenesis
- Wisdom Teeth
- General Tooth Extraction
- Impacted Canines
- Cleft Lip & Cleft Palate
- Facial Trauma
Contact us today to schedule your child’s oral surgery consultation. We regularly see and treat children at each of our offices in Auburn, Federal Way, Renton, Maple Valley, and Puyallup, WA. If you have questions or concerns at any point throughout your child’s care, please contact our practice.