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.
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. In general, use as little pressure as is needed. Change the gauze pad every 30 minutes as needed. If excessive bleeding continues, please call for further instructions. Remove gauze when it is no longer needed.
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 48 hours. Swelling generally reaches a peak in 48–72 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.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids and 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 before the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate pain, ibuprofen (Advil® or Motrin®) may be taken. Ibuprofen bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 3–4 tablets may be taken every 6–8 hours as needed for pain (no more than 3200 mg/24-hour period). For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed. 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. 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 brush the 2 adjacent teeth on either side of the graft site for 5 days. After 5 days, you may gently brush the tooth surfaces of the adjacent teeth, as long as the bristles don’t disturb the graft site.
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.
Sinus Lift Patients
The sinus lift is performed to increase the height of bone available for your implant(s). It is imperative that you follow the instructions listed below carefully to maximize your healing and improve the long-term outcome of your sinus lift and dental implant(s).
Do NOT blow your nose for at least 7 days, as the pressure will delay or damage your sinus healing. If you have to sneeze, do NOT hold it back — sneeze out. Open your mouth and try to minimize the pressure in your nasal/sinus passages.
You may use nasal decongestants, such as over-the-counter Sudafed® tablets or Afrin® nasal spray, to keep your passages dry, especially if you have noticed continued drainage or feel the need to blow your nose.
Take the antibiotics prescribed by your doctor until they are finished, even if you feel fine. They protect the surgical site from infection. Also, 1 or 2 servings of yogurt or an acidophilus probiotic tablet are recommended daily to reduce gastrointestinal complications (such as diarrhea).
Do not drink through a straw. This creates suction, which may damage a healing clot. You may drink out of a cup or bowl, or use a spoon.
Do not smoke because smoking reduces the blood flow, contaminates the healing wound, and frequently leads to infections.