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.
Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. You can control excessive bleeding (where your mouth fills up rapidly with blood) 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. Remove gauze when it is no longer needed. If excessive bleeding continues, please call for further instructions.
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 24–36 hours. Swelling generally reaches a peak in 24–36 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 or foods. Soft foods and liquids should be consumed on the day of surgery. Do not chew on the surgical site until the doctor indicates that it is okay to do so.
You should begin taking pain medication before the local anesthetic wears off. For moderate pain, 1 or 2 Regular Strength Tylenol® (325 mg) may be taken every 6 hours (no more than 2600 mg/24-hour period). Ibuprofen (also known as 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.
If you had a sinus lift performed to increase the amount of bone available for an upper implant, please keep the following instructions in mind: 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 in or stifle it, but sneeze with your mouth open 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.
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 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. It is recommended to avoid strenuous activities for 3 days following surgery.
Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures should not be used immediately after surgery. You may wear these prostheses as soon as it is comfortable but only if the prosthesis doesn’t touch the graft site.