Oral Surgery


Occasionally, a child will need oral surgery. There are a few reasons why this might be the case. Your child may need oral surgery if he or she:

  • was born with extra teeth 
  • experiences unusual growth
  • has an infection in his mouth
  • was injured while playing a sport 
  • experienced oral trauma

One of the most common pediatric oral surgery procedures is tooth extractions. Your dentist may recommend a tooth extraction if your child’s teeth are broken beyond repair, have lost of decay, are impacted, or overcrowded.

Perhaps the most common pediatric tooth extraction is wisdom tooth extraction, a procedure to remove one or more wisdom teeth. 

The surgery can often be done in the dentist’s office. However, if your child has any infections, your dentist will probably delay the procedure until the infection has been treated and cleared.

Before removing your child’s wisdom teeth, the dentist will administer a local anesthetic to numb the area. A general anesthetic can be used to prevent pain and cause your child to sleep through the surgery. Because of the anesthesia, the dentist will probably recommend that your child not have anything to eat or drink after midnight on the night before surgery.

During the procedure, the dentist will open the gum tissue over the tooth and take out any bone covering the tooth. Then the dentist will separate the tissue connecting the tooth to the bone and then remove the wisdom tooth. The dentist may also choose to cut the tooth into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove. After the procedure, your child may receive stitches. These will dissolve over time and the dentist will place a gauze pad over the wound in your child’s mouth to stop any bleeding. 


Oral Surgery FAQ

Most people fully recover three to four days after surgery.

Since you will be under anesthesia, you shouldn’t feel any pain. However, if you do feel pain, tell your dentist right away, so that he can administer more anesthesia.

Most people are able to return to eating normally about one week after surgery.

No, that is a myth. However, the lower jaw may feel weaker for weeks or months after the surgery.

There is a risk of dry socket until your child is fully healed. It usually takes 7-10 days to completely heal from wisdom tooth extraction.

When the blood clot that should form at the site of the extraction fails to develop or is dislodged.

The early signs that your child may be experiencing dry socket include: severe pain and/or visible bone in the socket.

Dry socket usually heals quickly with treatment.

No, wisdom tooth extraction does not cause your teeth to shift.

Some patients feel that they have more facial definition after wisdom tooth extraction.