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Post-Operative Instructions: Bone Grafting


In addition to the general post-operative instructions, we would like to emphasize a few points. The process of healing following bone grafting procedures can vary depending on the type/location of the grafting material used, the amount of the materials used, and the extent of bone loss prior to the procedure.

Your bone graft is made up of many particles. You may find some small granules in your mouth for the first several days. Do not be alarmed by this. It’s normal to have some of the particles come out of the graft site and into your mouth. There are some things you could do to minimize the amount of particles that may become dislodged:

  1. Do not disturb the wound/site. Avoid touching this area. There most likely will be sutures in and around the site; do not attempt to remove/alter the sutures in any way. If the sutures become dislodged, or if you feel any strange contours in the surgical site following your procedure, please do not hesitate to call our office for further instructions.
  2. Do not vigorously rinse or spit for 3–5 days. For the first day, we would suggest letting the blood clot stabilize and not even rinsing your mouth. After the first day, gentle rinsing would be advised. Do not rinse too vigorously, as you can again disturb some of the bone graft particles.
  3. Do not apply pressure with your tongue or fingers to the grafted area, as the material is movable during the initial healing. Again, avoid touching the area.
  4. Do not lift or pull on the lip to look at the sutures. This can cause damage to the wound site and tear the sutures.
  5. Take any medications as prescribed by your doctor until gone.
  6. After the first day following your procedure, you may brush your teeth. Be very careful with this surgical site. You may start to brush this site normally after a week following your procedure.

Wearing Your Prosthesis

In some cases, partial dentures, provisionals, or full dentures may not be used immediately after surgery and for at least 10 days. Make sure to receive instructions regarding your temporary appliance from your surgeon following your procedure. If you are unclear about what to do regarding your temporary, please call our office. If you are/will be using a partial denture and/or flipper, you may have to see your restorative/general dentist to have it adjusted and learn how to remove and replace it appropriately.

Following Sinus Augmentation/Grafting

If you had a sinus grafting procedure performed, the general post-operative instructions still apply, but we would like to emphasize a few important points about your procedure and remind you of some instructions:

  1. Do not blow your nose.
  2. If you must sneeze, do so with your mouth open to avoid any unnecessary pressure on the sinus area.
  3. Do not smoke or use smokeless tobacco. Smoking greatly inhibits healing, especially in the sinus area.
  4. Do not use a straw. The suction from using a straw can disturb the sinus by creating negative pressure. It can also cause the blood clot to become dislodged.
  5. Do not lift or pull up on your lip to look at the stitches, as this may create damage and tear the stitches.
  6. Take your antibiotics as directed and until finished.
  7. You may have some bleeding from the nose. This is not uncommon and should pass quickly.
  8. If there was a bone graft placed in this site, you may be aware of small granules in your mouth for the next few days. This is not unusual, as your graft is mainly made of small particles and some of these are lost in the healing process.
  9. If you feel congested, you may need to use antihistamines or decongestants. If you do, we advise you to use over-the-counter products such as Dimetapp®. We also suggest that you avoid using any nasal sprays unless they are saline.
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