Please read and follow these important guidelines for after a bone grafting procedure.
Do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. Be as gentle as you can around the bone grafting area. Try to maintain all graft material at the surgical site.
Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding (your mouth fills up rapidly with blood) can be controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30–45 minutes. Change the gauze pad every 30 minutes as needed. If excessive bleeding continues, please call for further instructions. (In general, use as little pressure as is needed.) Remove gauze when it is no longer needed.
Swelling is normal after surgery and is a major cause of post-extraction discomfort. Swelling typically peaks by the third day and then starts to resolve; it can be reduced by the use of an ice pack. Apply the ice pack to the area of surgery as much as possible for the first 36 hours. Do not freeze the skin. Ice packs are useful for the first 36 hours only. Also, keeping your head elevated for the first couple of days can help reduce some swelling as well. These measures will not eliminate swelling, but they help to reduce its severity. If swelling begins to increase after the third post-operative day, please contact your doctor immediately.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Keep all solid food away from the surgical site.
Discomfort is normal after any surgical procedure. Take your prescribed pain medication as directed. If you are not allergic or intolerant to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, start taking ibuprofen (also known as Advil® or Motrin®) as instructed by your doctor. Be certain to take your pain medications with food; this will help prevent nausea. Remember, narcotic pain medicine will impair your judgment and reflexes. Do not take any medications if you are allergic or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it. This may include patients with liver or kidney disease.
Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection. Continue to take them for the entire time indicated by your doctor.
Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. Warm saltwater rinses (a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) should be used at least 4–5 times a day, especially after meals. If you are given a prescription for Peridex™ Oral Rinse, rinse for 30 seconds and spit twice per day. Do not brush the 2 adjacent teeth on either side of the graft site for the first 7 days. After 7 days, you may gently brush the tooth surfaces of the adjacent teeth, as long as the bristles don’t disturb the graft site. You may floss normally, starting the day of surgery, if comfortable.
Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you are exercising, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. Keep in mind that any modifications in your diet may have an impact on daily nourishment. This may weaken you and further limit your ability to exercise.
Wearing your Prosthesis
Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures should not be used immediately after surgery. You may wear these prostheses as soon as it is comfortable but only if the prosthesis doesn’t touch the graft site.