When Oliver was 3 he ran into a small side table and knocked his tooth. His front tooth became discoloured and was knocked back to an angle. Concerned with how discoloured the tooth was going we rang our dentist. Our dentist explained that when the tooth turns grey/black it means that is has died. The tooth was becoming discoloured but as it wasn’t going black, or causing discomfort we left it.
A couple of months later we moved into our new house. Everything was going well, until Oliver decided to headbutt the table with his mouth. He knocked his tooth again, this time pushing it forward. He screamed and cried and this time he complained he couldn’t eat. We booked an emergency visit to the dentist who confirmed the tooth was dead so would turn black. He explained we had 3 options;
1- We could leave the tooth as it is, and wait for when it falls out naturally.
2- He could extract the tooth himself. He explained that although he could if we wanted to, it may be better for Oliver to go to the Hospital for option 3. This way he wouldn’t become afraid of visiting him, so would maintain the relationship they had.
3- To go to the hospital to have the tooth extracted under anaesthetic. He would be put to sleep and the tooth would be removed in less than 5 minutes. He wouldn’t be in any pain and wouldn’t be afraid to visit his own dentist.
With the tooth where it was, he was catching it a lot more, so felt it needed to come out. Option 3 seemed to be the best choice.
The dentist explained in the meantime we needed to encourage Oliver to play with his tooth in the hope it would fall out naturally without having any intervention.
He referred us to the hospital for the extraction.
We were asked to go along to our local dental centre for a pre op.
When we arrived and signed in we had around a 15 minute wait before we were called in. Oliver was asked to sit on a dental chair (The same ones used at check ups) and the dentist had a quick look at the tooth in question. She checked to make sure that was the only tooth that needed to come out. I sat in the corner, so nervous for him. He looked so worried that he just couldn’t stop looking at me. The Nurse sat him up and started to explain to him (Not me) what was going to happen. At 4 Oliver didn’t really understand a lot, but I loved how they spoke to him, asked him questions and really tried to help him understand what was happening.
The explained to him that they would pop a mask over his mouth, and then in a box they pulled a mask. Oliver was able to try it on, and breath through it, like he would do on the day. They pulled out a gown, and explained he would be asked to wear one, and not to worry because mummy would be wearing one too. He was able to wear it too! They explained that after the procedure that his mouth would feel tingly but it wouldn’t hurt. The Nurse looked at me and said that he may complain that his mouth hurts, but due to the numbness of the anaesthetic it wouldn’t. But because he has most likely never experienced the feeling he wouldn’t know how to describe it.
She gave Oliver a variety of stickers, and me a lot of paperwork explaining the procedure. We booked a date, and asked if we had any questions. We didn’t.
The day of the procedure
We were asked to keep Oliver nil by mouth. It meant he had to go 12 hours without even a drink of water. I remember I kept saying how horrible it was going to be, but in reality he took it in his stride.
We arrived at the hospital 20 minutes early and we waited in the waiting room. We were reading books, watching my videos on my phone generally just trying not to think about what was happening. There were lots of children waiting, and adults too. I know not all children are there because of decay, but it did bring home to me to make sure their teeth are well looked after.
The dental nurse called our name and we went to a little room. Oliver’s weight was checked and his height. They again spoke to Oliver and asked if he had ever had anaesthetic before. He shook his head. I don’t think he understood the question. He was asked to put the gown on, and I was also given one to wear. We were then shown into theatre. Oliver popped onto the table an laid stiff, he was so nervous. The dental surgeon asked him to put the mask on and jokingly said to Oliver it smelt of smelly feet! He asked Oliver to count to 10, he reached 5 before he fell asleep. I was on the brink of tears and asked to go back and wait.
Not even 10 minutes later I was called and they had finished. Oliver was just coming round when I walked in, and he bolted off the table to give me a hug!
We had to wait around for 10 minutes and Oliver was given a drink of juice. The tooth was given back to us in a little envelope addressed to the tooth fairy, I loved that!
I was given an information sheet about what to watch out for, and once my sister arrived to take us home, we left.
That evening Oliver put his tooth under his pillow for the tooth fairy.
If your little one is needing to go under anaesthetic then I hope this helps you, It really isn’t anything to worry about and it will be over as soon as you realise!