Bone Grafting

INSTRUCTIONS FOLLOWING BONE GRAFTING

IMPORTANT: PATIENTS WHO HAVE HAD A GENERAL ANESTHETIC OR INTRAVENOUS SEDATION SHOULD NOT DRIVE AN AUTOMOBILE FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE DAY.

1. BLEEDING: REMOVE ALL GAUZE PACKS 20 TO 30 MINUTES AFTER LEAVING THE OFFICE OR UPON ARRIVING HOME. PLACE ANOTHER STERILE GAUZE PACK ONLY IF THE BLEEDING CONTINUES. A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following the surgery, coloring of the saliva with blood is normal for a few days following the surgery. If the bleeding continues after a reasonable period of time, place a sterile gauze pack (folded into a 1 inch square) DIRECTLY OVER THE BLEEDING AREA AND BITE DOWN FIRMLY FOR 20 MINUTES. Repeat as necessary using a wet black teabag. DO NOT USE COTTON OR FACIAL TISSUE. If bleeding persists, sit in a relaxed position, with head up, and place the ice packs externally over the operated area. DO NOT SPIT FOR THE FIRST 24 HOURS.

2. MEDICATIONS: Obtain prescriptions immediately. Take the prescribed medications as indicated by the directions on the bottle. Take the antibiotic prescription until all of the pills have been consumed. Use the prescribed pain medication (analgesic) only as necessary, substituting with Motrin or other mild analgesics if they bring adequate relief. All pain medications should be taken with milk or after eating. The prescribed pain medication may cause nausea and constipation. DO NOT CONSUME ANY ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES OR DRIVE AN AUTOMOBILE WHEN TAKING PRESCRIBED PAIN MEDICATION.

3. ICE PACKS: Use ice packs on the operated areas (externally) for the first 24 hours. Apply ice packs for 20 minutes on, then 20 minutes off.

4. DIET: Start with foods that are soft, i.e.: pudding, jell-o, ice cream, etc. Once the numbness has resolved then you may eat food that can be easily chewed and successfully swallowed. DRINK PLENTY OF LIQUIDS. Avoid hot foods and hot liquids for 3 – 4 days.

5. ORAL HYGIENE: Vigorous mouth washing may stimulate bleeding. Therefore, DO NOT RINSE THE MOUTH FOR AT LEAST 12 HOURS FOLLOWING SURGERY. You may then gently rinse the mouth with warm salt water (1/4 teaspoon salt to an 8 ounce glass of warm water) or a diluted mouthwash 3-4 times a day for one week. If bleeding continues, stop all mouth rinsing and follow the instructions regarding bleeding. The teeth should be brushed with toothpaste. Good oral hygiene will reduce the possibility of infection. A Chlorhexidine mouth rinse may be prescribed to improve oral hygiene.

6. SMOKING: It is strongly recommended that cigarette smoking be eliminated for one week prior to and after the surgery. Smoking at anytime will increase the risk of complications, including infection, poor wound healing and failure of the graft to heal.

WHEN GRAFTING BONE IN THE MOUTH THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS MAY OCCUR, ALL OF WHICH MAY BE WITHIN NORMAL LIMITS:

1. The operated area may become swollen. The greatest amount of swelling will occur approximately 1 – 4 days after surgery.  Light physical activity with proper use of ice packs will help to reduce the swelling, and having your head elevated with pillows while sleeping has also shown to reduce swelling.

2. Discoloration or bruising may accompany the swelling beneath the eyes and jaw.

3. You may have a slight earache for several days.

4. You may develop a sore throat.

5. Teeth adjacent to the surgery area may ache. This is referred pain and is a temporary condition.

6. There may be a slight elevation of temperature 24-48 hours after the surgery. If the elevated temperature continues, drink plenty of fluids and telephone our office.

7. If the corners of mouth or lips become dry or chapped, keep area moist with cream or ointment.

8. Avoid touching the surgical area with fingers, toothpicks, or any object that may cause infection.

9. Drinking liquid through a straw (which creates negative pressure) and using a water pik over the surgical site should be avoided for 2 weeks.

10. Silk stitches are generally used. These stitches will be removed at your postoperative appointment.

11. Activity level should be minimal the day of surgery. For one week following surgery, light exercise only is advised.

12. During the healing process, small sharp fragments of bone may become obvious. If this occurs, return to the office so they can be removed.

13. Any appliances that might contact the surgical site should be adjusted the day of surgery so that they can be worn without harming the graft site.

14. If using a removable appliance, it should be removed several times a day for proper cleaning.

PLEASE CONTACT THIS OFFICE IF ANY DOUBT ARISES AS TO YOUR PROGRESS AND RECOVERY.

Patients can download our office bone grafting surgery instructions form here.