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Post-Surgery Instructions

For your convenience, we have posted our Post-Surgery Instructions (Post-Op Instructions) online. However, if you would prefer to have a PDF version of these instructions you can download the Post-Surgery Instructions in PDF format here.

Directions for care after your surgical procedure:


Bite down gently but firmly on the gauze packet that has been placed over the surgical area for 1 hour.  Replace the gauze as needed approximately 30-45 minutes for the next several hours until the bleeding has stopped. Remove the gauze to eat, drink, or sleep. You can also bite on a moist tea bag to help stop the bleeding.   If you are still bleeding after 24 hrs, please notify this office.


The area operated on will usually swell and can become quite large.  The stiffness of the muscles may cause difficulty in opening the mouth.  You may also develop a slight earache or sore throat. Black and blue discoloration may occur outside the face near the area of surgery.  You can help minimize these symptoms by placing a cold pack or frozen peas wrapped in a towel for 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off during the first 12 hrs post-surgery. This is especially important the first 3 hrs post-surgery. If the corners of the mouth have been stretched, they may become dry or cracked.  Your lips should be kept moist w/ cream or ointment such as Vaseline.

Wound Care:

Do not disturb the surgical area today. Do not rinse vigorously or probe around the area with any objects. You may brush your teeth gently this evening taking care to avoid the surgical area. Avoid vigorous exercise and alcohol for the next several days.  If you smoke, do not smoke for 48 hrs after your procedure. Smoking will likely cause the area to develop a dry socket.  Starting tomorrow, gently rinse w/ warm salt water 4-5 times per day to help keep the area clean and free of infection. There will be a cavity at the site of the tooth extraction.  If you were given a plastic syringe for cleaning the area, please wait 7 days before using it to help remove food from the extraction sites as it may disturb the area from healing if used before.  The space will gradually fill with new gum tissue

Pain and Medication:

Unfortunately, most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort.   Please take the medication that has been directed for you before the anesthetic or numbness wears off.  This will help you manage the discomfort better.   If you were given an antibiotic, please fill the prescription right away and take it as directed until ALL of the tablets are gone.


It is important to keep hydrated and eat nourishing food.


  • Drinking through a straw for the first several days (as this may disturb the clot).
  • Hot foods
  • Small grains, rice, chips, popcorn, or any hard foods. 


  • Soft foods like milkshakes (w/ a spoon!), yogurt, and mashed potatoes are recommended.


There may be a slight elevation in temperature for 24-48 hrs post-surgery.  If temperature elevation continues, please notify this office


Depending on the surgery you had, the doctor may or may not have placed sutures to assist in the healing of the tissue. If you are not sure if you had sutures placed, please contact our office to confirm.

Depending on the type of sutures, you will either need to:

  • Have them removed in approximately 7 days.
  • Do nothing, because the sutures will dissolve on their own.

**Please do not hesitate to call Dr. Grammens/Dr. Browne if you have any questions**

Download the PDF version of this webpage: Post-Surgery Instructions – Montana Roots Dental Care

I'm new to Helena. I researched dentists in the Queen City and decided on Crowley Dental. Excellent is the one word that would summarize my dental care at Dr. Crowley's. Professional, punctual, friendly, are others I'd use to describe Dr. Crowley, his dental assistants, and front office. I'll be a regular patient from here on, no question. Hope this helps any others looking for top dental care.
Walter P. - Helena, MT
Excellent office staff and doctors/assistants. Makes going to the dentist a worry/ pain-free experience. Scheduling is easy and wait times are under ten minutes. The doctors always call later in the day to follow up and schedule check-ups as needed. Truly a great staff. The only advice I have is to keep doing what they're doing. I will be sure to recommend Crowley's to anyone I know in the Helena area.
Joshua M. - Helena, Montana