Post-Operative Instructions: Bone Grafting

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.

Bleeding

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 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

Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag (or a plastic bag or towel filled with ice) on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously, as much as possible, for the first 24–36 hours. Swelling generally reaches a peak in 24–36 hours and then subsides over the next 3–5 days. If swelling begins to increase after the third post-operative day, please contact your doctor immediately.


Diet

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.


Pain

You should begin taking pain medication before the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate pain, one or two Regular Strength Tylenol® (325 mg) may be taken every 6 hours (no more than 2600 mg in a 24-hour period). Ibuprofen (Advil® or Motrin®) may be taken instead of Tylenol. Ibuprofen bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 3–4 tablets may be taken every 4–6 hours as needed for pain (no more than 3200 mg in a 24-hour period). For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed. (Please note: if this prescription has Tylenol® [APAP] in it, see the above comments). Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it. This may include patients with liver or kidney disease.


Antibiotics

Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection.


Oral Hygiene

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 rinse with peroxide, even if diluted. Do not brush the 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 do not disturb the graft site. You may floss normally, starting the day of surgery, if comfortable.


Activity

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 you are probably not taking normal 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 does not touch the graft site.

Click here for a printable pdf version of these instructions.

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At Oral Surgery Specialists of Atlanta, our top priority is providing the highest level of service possible to each patient who enters our practice. We offer a wide variety of procedures that includes wisdom tooth removal, general tooth extractions, bone grafting procedures, dental implant placement, treatment of oral pathology, and the management of TMJ disorders. Our team strives to serve your needs with compassion and does everything in our power to ensure that every patient is fully informed and comfortable throughout the entirety of their care.


 This website provides dental information and is intended only to assist users in their personal search for an oral surgeon. You are urged to seek the advice of an experienced dentist or a professional before undergoing any dental procedure. The site is not intended for use by individuals with any type of health condition. Such individuals are specifically warned to seek professional medical advice prior to receiving any extensive dental work.