Our phone number is (406) 727-4322
We want your recovery to be as smooth and pleasant as
possible. Following these instructions will help you. If you
have questions about your progress, please call our office
at the number above. Calling the office can eliminate
additional expenses of going to the Emergency Department
or seeing another doctor. We have a doctor and assistant
available 24 hours a day 7 days a week to answer calls. Do
not hesitate to call in case of an emergency. However, for
routine questions (including setting follow-up
appointments), please call during business hours.
DO NOT DRIVE OR OPERATE MACHINERY FOR 24 HOURS AFTER ANESTHESIA
OR AS LONG AS YOU ARE TAKING PRESCRIPTION NARCOTIC MEDICATION
- If you have gauze in your mouth, bite gently on original gauze packs for one hour.
- If you replace gauze packs, moisten the new packs slightly before placing them.
- Do not chew on the gauze packs or “check” them frequently.
- Each pack should be left in place for at least 30 minutes.
- Oozing from the sites to a small degree is normal during the first 48 hours.
- We recommend placing an old towel on your pillow for the first night as you may
drool blood while you sleep if you have wounds in your mouth.
- Persistent bleeding may be treated by applying pressure or sipping slowly on ice
- Call the office if you feel the bleeding is severe,
uncomfortable, or if it does not respond to the above.
- Bleeding through skin bandages is very rare. Please
let us know if the skin wounds bleed heavily.
- If you were given a head wrap, please leave it in
place for 48 hours. You may remove it only to take care
of your wounds as described below. Replace it so it has
a snug fit each time. This helps with bleeding and
- We recommend using over-the-counter medications as much as possible.
- You may want to set a timer to stay on top of administering your pain medication for the first few days,
so you do not get behind:
- For sustained pain relief, alternate between acetaminophen (Tylenol®) and ibuprofen (Advil®,
Motrin®, etc.) if you can take these medications. (For adults, 500 mg acetaminophen, 2 hours later
400 mg ibuprofen, 2 hours later acetaminophen, etc.)
- OR – For maximum pain relief at one time, take both acetaminophen (500 mg) and ibuprofen (400
mg) at the same time, then wait 4 hours for the next dose.
- For children, dosing recommendations can be found on the bottle
If a prescription for a narcotic pain medication is provided, this is to be used for breakthrough pain as a
last resort – these medications often have uncomfortable side effects and are very addictive.
Narcotic pain medication (tramadol, codeine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, etc.) can be addicting,
nauseating, and constipating. If taken the wrong way, it can be deadly.
Always follow the label, and cal if you have any questions.
Most narcotic pain medication has acetaminophen. If you take a dose, treat
it like your dose of acetaminophen in the graphic above.
Refills for prescription pain medications will be considered on a case-by-case basis
and will only be filled during business hours. They will not be considered over the
weekend. Please plan accordingly. Office hours are Mon – Fri 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
and Friday 7:00 AM to 12:00 PM.
Refills for narcotic pain medication require an office visit.
- If your surgery was not in the mouth, please take care of your teeth like normal.
- If you have wounds in your mouth, follow these guidelines:
- It is OK to gently brush your teeth right away. Take care to avoid
disturbing the surgical area.
- If you have braces or arch bars, you may place a small dollop of wax on
the sharpest part. Do not place large chunks of wax in your mouth—it
makes it hard to brush your teeth and keep food out.
- Do NOT probe or otherwise disturb the surgical site.
- Beginning the day after surgery, gently rinse your mouth with
mild salt water (½ tsp. salt and ½ tsp. baking soda per cup of water)
several times a day and continue for two weeks following surgery.
- If prescription mouth rinse was provided, be gentle and follow the
instructions on the bottle.
- Do NOT rinse your mouth with hydrogen peroxide.
- Leave stitches alone.
- Do NOT vape or smoke tobacco or marijuana after oral surgery.
Smoke and vaping vapor contain damaging chemicals that will
increase the risk of pain and infection and will delay the healing
process leading to higher risks of complications.
- The longer you can avoid smoking after surgery, the better.
- Patients who smoke tend to have pain that lasts longer than non-
Swelling peaks 48-72 hours (2-3 days) after surgery. It then takes time to resolve.
- Ice packs help reduce swelling. A pattern of 20 minutes on and then 20 minutes off is helpful for the
first 48 hours.
- Ice directly on the skin can be uncomfortable. Place a cloth between the
ice and your skin unless you have ice packs designed to touch the skin.
- After 48 hours switch to a heating pad over the cheeks, following the
same 20-minute rotation schedule.
- Keep your head elevated 30° to 45°
for at least one week after surgery.
- If swelling returns after it has already resolved, please call the office.
When you start exercising is up to you.
Exercise causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure,
which can lead to more bleeding from the site.
If you are taking narcotic pain medication or are within 24
hours from being sedated, you should not exercise.
Aerobic exercise with endurance training in mind may be
more comfortable. However, people often feel throbbing.
This is fine if it goes away when you are done working out.