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Preparing Yourself for Oral Surgery

Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Preparing for oral surgery is much like preparing for any other outpatient procedure. The steps you take leading up to the operation play a significant role in the safety of your procedure and your recovery experience. It is important that you speak with Dr. Holtzen prior to an oral surgery to find out what you should expect and the ways you can facilitate a quick and complication-free recovery.

Food and Drink

If you will be under anesthesia or IV sedation during your surgery, you will be asked to fast from food and drink in the hours leading up to your procedure. If your surgery is scheduled in the morning, Dr. Holtzen may ask you to avoid eating or drinking after midnight the night before. Otherwise, a fasting period of at least eight to 12 hours must be observed. However, there may be exceptions for people with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes. Talk to our team if you have questions about pre-operative fasting.

Clothing and Hygiene

You should arrive at your appointment dressed comfortably in short-sleeved, loose-fitting shirt. Avoid wearing valuable clothing, and leave all jewelry at home. If you wear a removable dental prosthetic, such as dentures or a bridge, bring a case to store it in during the procedure. You should also avoid wearing contacts or makeup, though you may wish to bring apply lip moisturizer or balm to prevent chapping during the procedure.


You will need to arrange transportation to and from your oral surgery at our Missoula or Hamilton office, as you will not be allowed to drive yourself home after the procedure. The person you choose should be a responsible adult who will remain in the office for the duration of your surgical appointment. Depending on the type of anesthetic used during your procedure, you may need someone to stay with you at home in the hours immediately following your appointment.


Take steps now to prepare for the days following your procedure. It can take weeks for your mouth to fully heal after surgery, although most swelling subsides within a few days. If you have young children, arrange for someone to care for them during the days immediately following your appointment. Purchase soft foods that are safe to eat after oral surgery, such as yogurt or soup, and freeze an ice pack to help minimize swelling.