After Bone Grafting

Bone grafting in preparation for the placement of dental implants is a true surgical procedure, and post-operative care is very important. Unnecessary pain and the complications of infection and wound breakdown may be minimized if the instructions are followed carefully.

Immediately Following Surgery:

  • The gauze placed over the surgical area should be kept in place for 30 minutes and changed at regular intervals until the bleeding subsides.  Usually within 45 minutes to an hour, the bleeding will subside to a trickle.  After the subsidence of bleeding, you can quit using the gauze.
  • Vigorous mouth rinsing or touching the wound area immediately following surgery should be avoided.  This may initiate bleeding.  Gentle rinsing is encouraged after 48 hours. If you were prescribed an oral rinse such as Peridex (chlorhexidine), use it as directed. 
  • Use a new, soft toothbrush to gently brush your remaining teeth
  • Take the prescribed pain medications as soon as you begin to feel discomfort.  This will happen when the local anesthetic wears off.
  • Restrict your activities the day of surgery and resume normal activity when you feel comfortable.  It is not unusual to require 7 to 10 days before you are feeling back to normal, and before you can resume strenuous physical activity, and normal eating patterns.
  • Remain on a soft diet for a minimum of two weeks.
  • There are sutures in your mouth. These will dissolve and fall out on their own.
  • Place ice packs to the sides of your face where surgery was performed. 
  • CAUTION: If you suddenly sit up or stand from a lying position you may become dizzy.  If you are lying down following surgery, make sure you sit for one minute before standing.  Stand up slowly to provide time to steady yourself.  If you feel dizzy when you sit or stand, you should lie back down immediately to minimize the possibility of fainting.
  • Do not smoke, as this decreases the success rate of the bone graft that was placed.

Your dental 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 could do to minimize the amount of particles that become dislodged:

  • Do not disturb or touch the wound.
  • Avoid rinsing or spitting for 2 days to allow blood clot and graft material stabilization.
  • Do not apply pressure with your tongue or fingers to the grafted area, as the material is movable during the initial healing.
  • Do not lift or pull on the lip to look at the sutures. This can actually cause damage to the wound site and tear the sutures.
  • Do not smoke

If a partial denture or a flipper was placed in your mouth, you may have to see your restorative dentist to have it adjusted and learn how to remove and replace it appropriately.

It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have questions about your progress, please call us. Please try to call during office hours; however a 24-hour paging service will be made available to you for after hours contact with your doctor.