Before and after Intravenous Anesthesia Sedation

Use the information below to prepare and plan for effects of intravenous (IV) sedation for your oral surgery procedure. Call us with your questions: Northern Montana Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Great Falls Office Phone Number 406-727-4322.

Before IV Sedation | After Intravenous Anesthesia

Before Intravenous Anesthesia

  • You may not have anything to eat or drink for eight (8) hours prior to the surgery.  You may have TAP WATER ONLY (no sparkling or flavored water) up to 2 hours prior to your surgery.
  • No smoking at least 12 hours before surgery. Ideally, cut down or stop smoking as soon as possible prior to the day of surgery.
  • A responsible adult must accompany the patient to the office, remain in the office during the procedure, and drive the patient home. If you are a minor a parent or legal guardian must accompany you to the appointment and remain at the office during the entire procedure.
  • The patient should not drive a vehicle or operate any machinery for 24 hours following the anesthesia experience.
  • Please wear loose fitting clothing with sleeves which can be rolled up past the elbow, and low-heeled shoes.
  • Contact lenses, jewelry, and dentures must be removed at the time of surgery.
  • Do not wear lipstick, excessive makeup, or nail polish on the day of surgery.
  • If you have an illness such as a cold, sore throat, stomach or bowel upset, please notify the office.
  • If you take routine oral medications, please check with Dr. S. Whitney, Dr. D. Whitney or Dr. T. Clifton prior to your surgical date for instructions.

After Intravenous Anesthesia

Immediately Following Surgery

The gauze pad placed over the surgical area should be kept in place for a full hour. After this time, the gauze pad should be removed and discarded.

  • Vigorous mouth rinsing or touching the wound area following surgery should be avoided. This may initiate bleeding by causing the blood clot that has formed to become dislodged.
  • Take the prescribed pain medications as soon as you begin to feel discomfort. This will usually coincide with the local anesthetic becoming diminished.
  • Restrict your activities the day of surgery and resume normal activity when you feel comfortable.
  • Place ice packs to the sides of your face where surgery was performed. Refer to the section on swelling for explanation.


A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva is not uncommon. If bleeding continues, then placing a gauze pad over the area and bite firmly for thirty minutes. Repeat if necessary. If bleeding continues, bite on a moistened tea bag for thirty minutes. The tannic acid in the tea bag helps to form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels. To minimize further bleeding, do not become excited, sit upright, and avoid exercise. If bleeding does not subside, call for further instructions.


The swelling that is normally expected is usually proportional to the surgery involved. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes and sides of the face is not uncommon. This is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and eventual repair. The swelling will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until 3-4 days post-operatively. However, the swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. Two baggies filled with ice, or ice packs should be applied to the sides of the face where surgery was performed. The ice packs should be left on continuously while you are awake. After 36 hours, ice has no beneficial effect. If swelling or jaw stiffness has persisted for several days, there is no cause for alarm. This is a normal reaction to surgery. Thirty-six hours following surgery, the application of moist heat to the sides of the face is beneficial in reducing the size of the swelling.


For moderate pain, alternate between Tylenol (acetaminophen) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.) if you are able to take these medications. (For adults, 500 mg Tylenol, 2 hours later 400 mg ibuprofen, 2 hours later Tylenol, etc.)

OR – For Maximum pain relief at one time, take both Tylenol (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. 

For severe pain, take the tablets prescribed as directed. The prescribed pain medicine will make you groggy and will slow down your reflexes. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call the office.

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 – Thurs 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and Fri 7:00 am to 12:00 pm.


After general anesthetic or IV anesthesia, liquids should be initially taken. The following foods are acceptable for the first 24 hours after surgery: Apple Juice, Gatorade, Power Ade, fruit punch, Kool Aid, sweeter blends of juices, chicken or beef broth, tea, sherbet, applesauce, Jello, popsicles, yogurt, ice cream and sorbet.

Avoid citrus juices, alcohol, carbonated beverages, coffee and extremely hot foods for the first 24 hours after surgery.

Also avoid foods like nuts, sunflower seeds, popcorn etc. for 3 to 4 weeks after surgery. Do not use straws; drink from a glass. The sucking motion can cause more bleeding by dislodging the blood clot.

You may eat anything soft by chewing away form the surgical sites. High-calorie, high-protein intake is very important. Refer to the section on suggested diet instructions at the end of your take-home brochure. Nourishment should be taken regularly. You should prevent dehydration by taking fluids regularly. Your food intake will be limited for the first few days.

If you are a diabetic, maintain your normal eating habits or follow instructions given by your doctor. You should compensate for this by increasing your fluid intake.

At least 5-6 glasses of liquid should be taken daily. Try not to miss a single meal. You will feel better, have more strength, less discomfort and heal faster if you continue to eat.

Caution: If you suddenly sit up or stand from a lying position you may become dizzy. If you are lying down following surgery, make sure you sit for one minute before standing.

Keep the mouth clean

No rinsing of any kind should be performed until the day following surgery. You can brush your teeth the night of surgery but rinse gently. The day after surgery you should begin rinsing at least 5-6 times a day especially after eating with a cup of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of salt.  DO NOT rinse your mouth with hydrogen peroxide.


In some cases, discoloration of the skin follows swelling. The development of black, blue, green, or yellow discoloration is due to blood spreading beneath the tissues. This is a normal post-operative occurrence, which may occur 2-3 days post-operatively. Moist heat applied to the area may speed up the removal of the discoloration.


If you have been placed on antibiotics, take the tablets or liquid as directed. Antibiotics will be given to help prevent infection. Discontinue antibiotic use in the event of a rash or other unfavorable reaction. Call the office if you have any questions: Northern Montana Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Great Falls Office Phone Number 406-727-4322.

Nausea and Vomiting

In the event of nausea and/or vomiting following surgery, do not take anything by mouth for at least an hour including the prescribed medicine. You should then sip on coke, tea or ginger ale. You should sip slowly over a fifteen-minute period. When the nausea subsides you can begin taking solid foods and the prescribed medicine.

Sleep Apnea

Unless directed otherwise after your surgery, you may use your CPAP machine post-op. Patients who have undergone sedation or who are taking narcotic pain medication MUST use their CPAP machine at any time post-op when they might fall asleep unless specifically directed otherwise.  You are more likely to have life threatening apnea initially after anesthesia and while under the infulence of narcotic pain medications.

Dry Socket

Typically recognized by severe, aching pain developing up to 10 days after surgery.  Following the instructions on this website will minimize the risk of developing dry sockets.  Often is the result of food impaction within the socket or otherwise disturbing the healing process.  Dry sockets will resolve on their own, however, if you have concerns with this please call the office for assistance.


DO NOT smoke after oral surgery.  Smoke contains 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.

Other Complications

  • If numbness of the lip, chin, or tongue occurs there is no cause for alarm. As stated before surgery, this is usually temporary in nature. You should be aware that if your lip or tongue is numb, you could bite it and not feel the sensation. So be careful. Call the office if you have any questions: Northern Montana Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Great Falls Office Phone Number 406-727-4322.
  • Slight elevation of temperature immediately following surgery is not uncommon. If the temperature persists, notify the office. Tylenol or ibuprofen should be taken to reduce the fever.
  • You should be careful going from the lying down position to standing. You were not able to eat or drink prior to surgery. It was also difficult to take fluids. Taking pain medications can make you dizzy. You could get light headed when you stand up suddenly. Before standing up, you should sit for one minute then get up.
  • Occasionally, patients may feel hard projections in the mouth with their tongue. They are not roots, they are the bony walls which supported the tooth. These projections usually smooth out spontaneously. If not, they can be removed by Dr. S. Whitney, Dr. D. Whitney or Dr. T. Clifton.
  • If the corners of your mouth are stretched, they may dry out and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with an ointment such as vaseline.
  • Sore throats and pain when swallowing are not uncommon. The muscles get swollen. The normal act of swallowing can then become painful. This will subside in 2-3 days.
  • Stiffness (Trimus) of the jaw muscles may cause difficulty in opening your mouth for a few days following surgery. This is a normal post-operative event which will resolve in time.


Sutures are placed the area of surgery to minimize post-operative bleeding and to help healing. Sometimes they become dislodged, this is no cause for alarm. Just remove the suture form your mouth and discard it. The sutures are the dissolving type and will dissolve in about 10 days. So it’s really nothing to worry about.

The pain and swelling should subside more and more each day following surgery. If your post-operative pain or swelling worsens or unusual symptoms occur call our office for instructions: Northern Montana Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Great Falls Office Phone Number 406-727-4322.

There will be a cavity where the tooth was removed. The cavity will gradually over the next month fill in with the new tissue. In the meantime, the area should be kept clean especially after meals with salt water rinses or a toothbrush.

Your case is individual, no two mouths are alike. Do not accept well intended advice from friends. Discuss your problem with the persons best able to effectively help you: Dr. S. Whitney, Dr. D. Whitney or Dr. T. Clifton (Northern Montana Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Great Falls Office Phone Number 406-727-4322) or your family dentist.

Brushing your teeth is okay — just be gentle at the surgical sites.

A dry socket is when the blood clot gets dislodged prematurely from the tooth socket. Symptoms of pain at the surgical site and even pain to the ear may occur 3-4 days following surgery. Call the office if this occurs: Northern Montana Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Great Falls Office Phone Number 406-727-4322.

If you are involved in regular exercise, be aware that your normal nourishment intake is reduced. Exercise may weaken you. If you get light headed, stop exercising.