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. Do not lift or pull back on the lip to look at the sutures. This can actually damage the wound site and tear sutures.
Your bone graft is made up of many particles. You may find some small granules in your mouth for the first several days. Do not be alarmed by these. It’s normal to have some of them come out of the graft site and into your mouth. There are some things you can do to minimize the amount of particles that become dislodged.
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 is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice pack (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 hours. Swelling generally reaches a peak in 36 hours and then subsides over the next 3–5 days. If swelling begins to increase after the third post-operative day, please contact our office.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or foods. Soft foods and liquids should be consumed on the day of surgery. Keep all solid food away from the surgical site.
You should begin taking pain medication prior to the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate pain, 1 or 2 Extended Release Tylenol® (325 mg) or 2 Aleve® may be taken every 8 hours (no more than 2600 mg/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/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.
Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection.
Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. 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 you are probably not taking in normal nourishment. This may weaken you and further limit your ability to exercise.
Wearing your Prosthesis
Do not wear your partial denture or flipper until the surgeon says it is all right. He or your dentist may need to adjust your partial or flipper so it does not put pressure on the implant while you are healing. We do encourage you to wear it once your surgeon has given the ok, as it will help contour the soft tissue for a more natural-looking appearance when your final crown is placed.