After Bone Grafting

The typical healing after an oral surgical procedure involves approximately ten to fourteen days for full recovery.  Most patients can resume normal activities after the first 7 days following the bone graft. 

All surgical procedures may be accompanied by four events: discomfort, bleeding, swelling and a risk of infection.

To manage your post-operative discomfort: A potent pain medication has been prescribed.  It is best to attempt a light meal and take an analgesic (pain) tablet before the local anesthesia has worn off.  It is much easier to stay a step ahead of your discomfort than to try to catch up.  During the first 24 hours after surgery, be generous with the pain medication, but follow the instructions.  Do not exceed the recommended limits.  You may also alternate 600-800mg of ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) between doses of the prescription pain medication.  There should be a minimum of 4 hours between the prescription pain medication and 4 hours between the ibuprofen tablet (e.g. 600mg Advil at 12:00 p.m., prescription at 2:00p.m., Advil at 4:00p.m., prescription at 6:00pm., etc.). You may take Aleve but only one pill every 12 hours.  Please contact the office with any questions.

Post-operative bleeding is expected:  To minimize your bleeding, we have provided several cotton gauze sponges.  Please fold these into a tight square and place them directly over the bone graft sight.  Bite down firmly for approximately 1 hour.  After 1 hour, replace the gauze in an identical fashion.  You may need to repeat this procedure several times during the first day of surgery.  If there is no evidence that the bleeding is slowing down after 4 or 5 hours, lightly dampen a black or green tea bag, wrap one gauze sponge around it then place it over the extraction site and bite down firmly for 1 hour. If the bleeding continues, please contact the office.

Facial swelling: Swelling may gradually increase for the first 5 days after surgery, including discoloration of the lip and/or cheek.  If you keep your head elevated and maintain ice on the side of your face during the first 24 hours, your post-operative swelling will be markedly reduced.   Sleep on an extra pillow or two that evening to keep your swelling down.  After the first 5 days, the swelling will decrease rapidly.

Risk of infection: The risk varies with each procedure.   If prescribed an antibiotic and a Medrol Dose Pack, start those the day after surgery and take as instructed.  Gentle rinsing with warm salty water 24 hours after the procedure will help cleanse the wounds and promote a more rapid recovery from surgery.  Gently rinse after each meal and before bed. 

During your healing period: You must not smoke.  Ideally, all tobacco use will cease for 1 week prior to surgery and 1 week after surgery.   Failure to avoid tobacco products will prolong your post-surgery healing period, including your discomfort, bleeding, swelling and chance of infection.  Please do not rinse your mouth or expectorate (spit) on the day of surgery.   This will increase your bleeding and your risk of dry socket.  Please do not use any toothpaste or mouth rinses containing peroxide, including Listerine and Scope for one week as these will increase your risk of dry socket.  Avoid peridex (chlorhexidine) for one month or until the advisement from Dr. Esposito.  You may brush your teeth the next day after surgery.  Also please avoid straws and carbonated beverages until your follow up visit.

Please do not hesitate to contact the office should any questions arise.

Gatorade or Sports Drinks
Mashed Potatoes
Scrambled Eggs
Clear Cold Liquids
Non-Fat Yogurt
Over Cooked Veggies
Almond/Soy Milk
Dairy Products
Apple Sauce
Greasy Chicken Soup
Fatty Foods
Orange and Tomato Juice
Anything Acidic
Hot Liquids
Fruits with Seeds

Seeds or Rice
Using Straws