Care After a Bone Grafting Procedure

Do not disturb the wound. Avoid spitting and avoid touching the wound on the day of surgery. There may be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gum tissue. Patients that have or receive dentures on the day of surgery should not use any form of denture adhesive until gum tissue is completely healed.


Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal. Excessive bleeding can be controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes or until the gauze is saturated. Repeat if necessary. If bleeding continues, please call the office for instructions.


The amount of swelling is usually proportional to the surgery involved. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes, and sides of face is not uncommon. The swelling will not become apparent until the day following the surgery and will not reach its maximum until two to three days after surgery. However, the swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. A baggie filled with ice can be applied to the side of the face where surgery was performed. After 24 hours, ice has no beneficial effect.

If swelling or jaw stiffness has persisted for several days, there is no cause for alarm. This is a normal reaction to surgery. When you have reached 36 hours after surgery, the application of moist heat to the sides of the face may be beneficial in reducing swelling.


Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot foods and hot liquids while your mouth is still numb. Soft foods and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible, unless otherwise directed.

Raw milk products contain live bacteria that can harm a new bone graft. If a bone graft was performed alone or with placement of a dental implant, do not use dairy products for the first 48 hours after surgery. Follow the instructions on your Non-Dairy Food Suggestion card.


You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate pain, ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil), at a dose of two to four 200 mg tablets, may be taken every eight hours. If you are allergic to ibuprofen or have been instructed by another physician not to take it, you should discuss other medications with us. For severe pain, take the tablets prescribed as directed. The prescribed pain medicine will make you groggy. Do not drive or operate machinery and avoid alcoholic beverages while taking this medication.


Be sure to take prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection. Do not discontinue antibiotics. Always finish antibiotics unless an allergic or unusual reaction occurs. Call the office if you have any questions. Some patients are instructed to take a loading dose of their prescribed antibiotic prior to actual surgery. Consider those antibiotics as one of that day’s single doses.

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. The morning of surgery, use the prescribed Peridex Oral Rinse. The day after surgery, the Peridex should be used twice daily. Be sure to rinse for 30 seconds, then spit it out. Warm salt water rinses (2 tsp. in 8 oz. of warm water) should be used at least four to five times a day. Brush your teeth and healing abutments. Be gentle when brushing close to the surgical sites.

If you have questions, please call 336-275-6600.

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