What will happen first?
You have probably been wearing braces for some time. Now the gap is big enough in your gum, the brace you have been wearing will be changed by your Orthodontist for a smaller one which will hold your teeth nice and still for your operation.
When will I have my operation?
Once the orthodontist has moved your teeth and the gap in your gum is big enough, you will be ready for your operation. For most people they have had their braces on for about a year, but sometimes it may take a bit longer.
Where will I have my operation?
You will have your operation in Newcastle at the Royal Victoria Infirmary. You will stay on ward one which is a ward just for children and young people.
Can my someone stay with me?
Yes one of your parents or carers will be able to stay with you in your own room.
What is it like on Ward One?
On Ward One you will have your own room with a TV and payphone. There is also a play area for younger children and books, games and a Playstation for older children. You can also bring a couple of your own toys or games if you like.
What should I bring with me?
You will need to bring your nightclothes, toiletries and maybe one or two of your favourite toys, books or magazines.
Why can’t I have anything to eat or drink before my operation?
It is really important not to eat or drink anything before your operation. This is because it can make you really sick during or after your operation. You will be told when you can have your last food and drink by one of the nurses on the ward.
What happens when I come to ward one?
When you come to ward one you will get settled into your room and meet a nurse who will be looking after you. Sometimes someone will come and take swabs from inside your mouth. These look like big cotton buds and it doesn’t hurt. This is to make sure there are no germs in your mouth.
One of the doctors from Mr Hodgkinson’s team will come and talk to you and your parents or carers. This is to check that you are well enough to have your operation and to make sure that you don’t have a cough or cold. A lot of children have a sniffly nose when they come into hospital because it is so warm. This is usually nothing to worry about. The doctor and anaesthetist will decide.
Sometimes you will have some blood taken. You might go for an x-ray, a scan or to see the orthodontist.
What happens on the day of my operation?
Before your operation Mr Hodgkinson (or sometimes one of his assistants) will come to see you. He will talk to you and your parents or carers and ask them to sign the form that allows him to carry out the operation. There is a space for you to sign if you would like.
An anaesthetist will also visit you. Anaesthetists are doctors who give medicine to make people sleep all the way through their operation. If you are going to sleep by having a needle you will get Emla cream put on your hand so that you don’t feel the needle scratch. Some people have a mask put on their nose and mouth to breathe special air that makes them fall asleep instead of a needle. The doctor will talk to you about which you can have.
Can someone come to the napping (anaesthetic) room with me?
You will go to a different room when you are ready for your operation. This is the napping room where you will have the special medicine or air to make you drift off to sleep. One of your parents or carers can come with you. You can tell the doctor what sort of things you want to dream about.