Harry’s operation – tooth extraction

Teeth extraction in young children

Well it’s over and done with now – thank goodness is all I can really say on the matter. You’ll have read about his park accident which left him with a referral for 2 teeth to be extracted, this was to be under sedation locally however they couldn’t give him an appointment until next year, next April to be exact.

Of course he was in pain, he couldn’t eat hard foods and he’d already had one abscess with the chance that these would keep occurring until he had them out.

Not prepared to wait we took him to St. Thomas’ dental emergency hospital and they were amazing.  After, his appointment to Guy’s for the extraction only took a few weeks and was only a 7 week wait compared to next year.

I felt more at ease with this option as the pain for Harry would be gone quicker, and he would be fully asleep so wouldn’t be scared of the procedure as it was to be done under general and lets face it teeth extraction for young children has to be rather scary for them so I didn’t want him to be scared, worried or panic mid procedure.

We deliberately didn’t talk about Harry’s operation in front of him too much as he would have worried, telling him only the basics such as; the dentist will make him sleepy and then take out his front teeth but it wouldn’t hurt.

The night before Emmy stayed with her Godmum/Auntie over night and she went to school with them on the morning of Harry’s operation as we had to leave at 6.30am to drive into London, he had to be there for 8am and were didn’t want a sore, sleeping boy having to cope with public transport.

I had pre-booked a parking space using the JustPark website, this space was in the Ibis hotel carpark just an 8 minute walk away from the hospital. I’d pre-paid to avoid messing around on the day and an all day space was only £11.60 (and of course the £11 congestion charge which needed paying on the day).

Due to the traffic, Paul dropped Harry and I off at the hospital and parked the car and by the time he got back we had already gone through to have his pre-op checks and talk.

He was super smiley and over the moon that the nurses kept giving his Thomas the Tank Engine stickers (We had left him in his Thomas Pyjamas for ease).

They had planned to take X-Rays while he was asleep but changed their minds so he went off to have some more taken and this time they were able to see all they wanted.

Then the long wait set in…and we waited and waited and waited.

Harry was so well behaved and coped very well considering he’d not eaten since 9pm the night before and hadn’t had a drink at all that morning. He read books with us, watched the TV and built towers with the building bricks.

Awaiting teeth extraction
Waiting for his turn

Child after child was called in for their operation while we remained. Finally it was his turn, second to last with 6 children going in ahead of him. He was so brave hopping up onto the theatre bed and holding my hand. They put a mask over his mouth and together we sang Baa Baa Black Sheep so he could breath in the gas.  It didn’t take long, I held one hand and Paul held the other while I stroked his face.  In less than 2 minutes he was asleep.

We gave him a big kiss and headed out of the theatre and I balled my eyes out, crying like a baby for a few moments.  It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do as a Mother.  Walking out and leaving him in there was the most unnatural thing ever and it felt wrong to my maternal instincts, even though I knew he was in good hands.

Paul and I went to the canteen as we’d not eaten. I grabbed a drink and a sandwich for us each – ate mine as quickly as I could and rushed back upstairs in less  than 5 minutes.  I just couldn’t bring myself to sit in the canteen to wait even though they had my mobile number, so I went back to the waiting room. Paul joined me around 20 minutes later and after Harry had been in for around 50 minutes we were taken back through to recovery where we waited for a further 25 minutes.

He’d apparently woken up once very suddenly as soon as he came out, sitting up saying “Hello” and then falling asleep again, hence we were taken through.  We already knew we wouldn’t see him until the second stage of recovery. After those 25 minutes he was carried out to us – he put his arms out for a Mummy cuddle and then went straight back to sleep in my arms.

There were silent tears again, grateful tears of being reunited with my little warrior. My brave soldier.

He was so snuggly and sleepy, he couldn’t keep his eyes open, so we just sat cuddling.

Teeth removal surgery for children
Reunited in recovery

After 25 minutes we knew it was getting late and he needed to wake up so we could head home, after getting him to his feet he awoke, was grumpy they tried to make him drink water as he doesn’t like it but happily let them remove the cannula from his hand. On the agreement we would make him drink at home little and often he was allowed home.

Harry being Harry spied the canteen and he no longer wanted carrying and Mummy cuddles, he wanted food! So that’s what he had – of course he was now on a cold and soft diet for the rest of the day so it was a banana but he ate it all, and then another, and another, followed by half a bottle strawberry smoothie.  Nothing it would appear keeps this boy from his food!

He even spied McDonalds on the way home and wanted a burger – and he ate it…we let it cool down first, followed by an ice cream.

There was no down time after that, he was his normal bouncy self, talking and running about.

The only time you’d know it was sore was when he would go pale and jump onto my lap for a cuddle and a nap.

He never complained once and has been a complete super star.

The tooth fairy visited that night and he was over the moon she’d left £4 and a note.

Harry's top teeth plus the roots
Harry’s teeth

Lets hope he never needs an operation again but it’s nice to know how well he bounces back from them.


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