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Bone Graft Postoperative Instructions

Surgical wounds usually heal quickly and without complications if simple
precautions are taken. You should reduce your activities for several hours after surgery,
is possible. This helps reduce bleeding and permits the formation of a clot in the area of
surgery, which is necessary for healing. ABSOLUTELY NO MOUTH RINSING, HOT
surgery, the mouth may be rinsed with warm salt water after each meal and at bedtime
for the week following your surgery. The teeth should be brushed as usual, but the site
of surgery should be avoided, until it can be gently brushed without discomfort.


You have been given an antibiotic to prevent infection. Please begin
taking this as directed, until all the medication is finished. The pain medication that you
have been given should be taken as directed and with a full stomach; otherwise you may
experience nausea and vomiting. If your doctor has given you Peridex (Chlorhexidine),
begin rinsing two days following your surgery twice daily and do not eat or drink
anything one hour after rinsing.


It is normal to experience mild to moderate swelling, peaking at 48 hours.
You can help to decrease swelling by applying an ice bag to the affected area 20 minutes
on, 10 minutes off, for the remainder of the day of surgery, and for as much of the next
day as possible. Sleeping with the head elevated also helps reduce swelling.


A cool liquid diet is recommended. To help the healing process, for the following
week after your surgery be sure to keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of liquids
and be sure to eat foods high in vitamins and protein. Limit your diet to soft foods such
as yogurt, soups, puddings, pasta and soft cooked eggs. Chew all foods on the opposite
side of your mouth from where the bone graft was placed. If you wear a denture or a
partial that will cover the site, leave it out during eating to prevent pressure on the bone
graft; your doctor will give you special instructions for your needs.


There may be some bleeding or oozing at the sight, which is normal for 24 hours following the surgery. If you leave the office with a gauze pack, keep firm steady pressure on the gauze for approximately one hour following the surgery, then remove. Studies have shown a decrease in both short and long-term success rates of bone grafts in patients who smoke. If you have thought about quitting smoking, now is a good time to do so. Ask the doctors how they can help.

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