After Bone Grafting

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Postoperative Instructions for Bone Grafting

A bone graft has been placed under the gum tissue for you.  You should avoid chewing on the area of the surgery for two weeks, or until the tissue has closed.

If a sedative medication has been given, then you should not drive a car for the remainder of the day.

Two weeks after the surgery your surgical site will be checked by Dr. Hardy.  You should not wear your present partial or flipper until told to do so.  It is important to keep the appliance as clean as possible during the healing period.  If braces are worn, your orthodontist can place a tooth for cosmetic purposes.

Every consideration must be given to keep the surgical site clean and free of food particles.


The following are instructions for your mouth care after surgery.

  1. NO SMOKING! Smoking is to be avoided for the entire healing period.  Smoking increases the heat in the surgical site and significantly lowers the body’s ability to heal the site.
  2. Avoid alcohol, commercial mouth rinses and very hot fluids for 30 hours after your surgery.
  3. Rinsing: Brush your teeth as normal. DO NOT SWISH for 4 days after surgery as to not dislodge the graft that was placed. On day four, you may use salt water only twice per day for 2 weeks to keep the area clean.
  4. Antibiotics: Patients should follow the instructions on the prescription given to them prior to the surgery.  If an antibiotic has been prescribed to you, it is very important that the prescription is filled and taken as directed.  Please take the tablets/capsules until all are used.  Should you develop hives, itching, skin rash or have difficulty breathing, stop the medication and call the doctor immediately.
  5. Discomfort: A certain amount of pain must be expected with all types of surgery.  An appropriate pain medication has been prescribed for you.  Please take it according to the directions.  It is advised that you NOT drive while taking the pain prescription.  However, if only Motrin is being taken, most people are able to drive without any problems.
  6. Swelling: Some swelling and minimal bruising is possible and is to be expected.  IT IS NOT UNUSUAL!  In most cases, swelling can be prevented and/or controlled.  Apply the ice pack that has been given you for a period of 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for the next two days.  In the first 12-24 hours following surgery, the application of ice to the outside of the face over the surgical area will minimize swelling.  The second day after surgery is when you can expect to have the most swelling.  If, after three days the swelling appears to be getting worse, please call Dr. Hardy.
  7. Bleeding: A small amount of bleeding, following surgery, should not harm you.  If the bleeding is excessive or continuous, please call us, at once.  Vigorous rinsing of the mouth prolongs bleeding by removing the clotting blood, so avoid rinsing until otherwise directed.
  8. Straws: Straws create a negative pressure in your mouth and will tend to loosen the sutures or cause bleeding.
  9. Diet: Following surgery it is best to restrict your diet to fluids and soft foods for the first 72 hours.  A normal diet may then be resumed, but you will want to avoid chewing on the surgery site for 14 days.  Soft foods such as Jello, pudding, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs and soups are suggested.  If you have difficulty chewing, try blenderized foods or diet supplements such as Sustacal, Carnation Instant Breakfast or Ensure.
  10. Follow Up:
  • We will see you for periodic check-ups until the bone becomes stable.  This is usually for a period of four to six months.
  • After the healing period has been completed, the doctor will place the appropriate implants.  You will be instructed on how to properly care for the grafted area.

Additional Instructions: