Procedure Day


On the day of your child’s surgery, it is important to know what to expect.  Please know that Valleygate Dental Surgery Center is here to help you every step of the way by providing the highest quality of care for your family.  Here is what you can expect the day of surgery:

    • You will come directly up to surgery center and check in with the front desk at the time given to you.

    • After check in, one of the pre-op nurses will call you and your child back to the children’s pre-operative area to start the surgery process.

    • Your child will change on the stretcher provided. Please bring a change of clothes and underwear just in case the child has an accident during the procedure

    • The nurse will talk with your child about what they are going to do. They usually check vital signs on a child (Blood Pressure, Pulse, Oxygen Saturation, and Temp) then allow the child to relax and get comfortable. We always suggest to the parents to bring anything they keep with them for comfort (a toy, lovey or blanket works well)

    • During that time the nurse will ask the parents some questions regarding his/her health history to make sure we have the correct information.

    • After the nurse is done admitting, the anesthesiologist will come over and introduce his/her self. They will explain to the parents how the anesthesia process works and answer any questions the parents might have. Your child MAY be given a pre-medication which is a calming medication, usually about 20-30 minutes prior to the child going into the OR.

    • This is given at the discretion of the anesthesiologist and the appropriateness of its administration will be determined by them the morning of surgery.

    • Prior to going into the OR, the surgeon will come out, introduce themselves and explain and/or answer any questions about the procedure to the parents. X-rays will be taken in the operating room once the child is asleep regardless of whether the child had them done in the dental office to ensure that any work that is necessary at that time is completed. The goal is to bring the child back to 100% oral health. The dentist will explain what was found on the x-rays in the dental office, if they were able to obtain them, and then what they found on the intraoperative x-rays and what work was done after the procedure is complete.

    • The dentists will not come out after the x-rays are taken in the OR to tell you what they found and what they will do so that your child is not under anesthesia any longer than is necessary to do what is needed for their mouth to be returned to 100% oral health.

    • Once they are ready for the child to go into the OR, they usually will transport them on the stretcher to the OR.

    • As they are in the OR, the child then is given a mask over their face with anesthesia gases for them to breathe, and they are usually sedated within 5-10 seconds. We call this “blowing up the balloon” because there is a colored bag on the machine that moves in and out as the child breathes in the gases.

    • Your child will be under general anesthesia which means they will have a tube placed down their throat into their lungs so they can have the ventilator breathe for them. When the dentist is done working, the child will wake up from anesthesia and the tube will be taken out of the child’s throat as soon as they are able to breathe on their own.

    • After your child is asleep, they will then start an IV.

    • After the procedure is completed, they are recovered in the same room where the pre-operation procedures took place. 

    • The recovery nurse will monitor your child’s vital signs, and usually bring the parents back within a few minutes of the child reaching the recovery room.

    • Children sometimes will wake up very restless. This is because they are nervous and “feeling weird” when coming out of anesthesia, not because they are in pain.

    • Usually the child is given some pain medication during the procedure through their IV to help with after the procedure, along with the Dentist injecting local numbing medication to the site (if needed).

    • Once he/she is calm and her vital signs look stable, they can have something to drink, their IV will be taken out (which will not hurt), and they can go home. The child will probably be in recovery from 30-45 minutes.

Postoperative Instructions

o    Post operative instructions will be reviewed with you prior to your child’s discharge.

o    These instructions usually include no straw usage, no hard food or gummy or sticky substances as it can pull the caps off of the teeth.

o    You should progress your child’s diet slowly to ensure they can tolerate what they are eating- anesthesia sometimes affects patient’s stomachs adversely

o    Make sure you wash your child’s teeth and mouth with a soft cloth frequently to keep them clean and begin brushing as soon as tolerated.

Items to bring the day of surgery  

o    Your child’s medical insurance cards

o    Your picture ID

o    If your child is a foster child or adopted, you will need to provide documentation of this upon arrival at the center. This would include any court paperwork issued to you.

o    A toy, doll, lovey or blanket that makes your child feel secure in their surroundings

o    A book or laptop for yourself while your child is in surgery since it is a state requirement that one parent stay on-site at all times while the child is in the facility.

o    PLEASE REMEMBER- make all arrangements possible to keep any other children at home during the time your child needs to have their procedure. We will not all unattended children in the waiting area.

The entire process from registration to discharge can take 4-6 hrs sometimes so please make sure you do not make other plans for that day.  If needed, we can provide a note for your job or a note for the child’s school.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the surgery center you are scheduled at and they would be happy to assist you. If you’d like to visit the center before your scheduled procedure date, they would be happy to schedule that for you too. We look forward to providing you and your child with EXCELLENT Service and Care!