Bone Grafting Post-Operative Care

A bone grafting procedure(s) has just been completed for you. Sutures have been placed to hold the tissues together during healing. Two weeks after the surgery, the sutures will be removed, and you will be examined by the doctor. There may be two types of sutures utilized and some may be left in place for an additional 2 weeks.

If I.V. medication has been given, you cannot drive a car for the remainder of the day. It is advised that you have someone remain with you until your sedated condition wears off.

In most cases with an advanced bone grafting procedure if you wear a removable appliance to replace teeth in the area of the surgery, you WILL NOT be able to continue to wear it as it will put pressure on the site and will cause it to not heal properly. If you are able to wear the appliance it is important to keep the appliance as clean as possible during the healing period. You may need to use denture adhesive to hold your partial or denture in place during healing. Avoid placing adhesive directly on the suture line.

Every consideration must be given to keep the surgical site clean and free of food particles. The following are instructions for your mouth care after surgery:

  1. NO SMOKING. Smoking is to be avoided for the time specified by Dr. Heller since it increases the heat in the surgical area and significantly lowers the body’s ability to heal the site.
  2. Avoid alcohol for 30 hours after your surgery, commercial mouth rinses with alcohol for two weeks, and very hot fluids and foods for 30 hours after surgery. Lukewarm to cold is adequate. Anything that is cooked must be allowed to cool down.
  3. Rinsing: Gentle rinsing of the mouth should be started the day of surgery. Frequent gentle rinsing with lukewarm saltwater will aid the healing process and maintain cleanliness. Add ½ teaspoon of salt to a 6-ounce glass of water. Avoid use of a water pik.
  4. Ultra-Soft Brush: Please begin using the Ultra-Soft 24 hours after your surgery to cleanse and stimulate the tissue. It will not harm the sutures. Dip the brush into the saltwater rinse and brush directly on the surgical site. Sutures should be brushed at least twice daily.
  5. Antibiotics: IV Sedated patients have received an appropriate antibiotic through their IV line. You may be given a follow-up antibiotic prescription. Please take as directed. Patients who have not had IV sedation should follow the direction on the prescription given to them prior to surgery. If an appropriate antibiotic has been prescribed for you today, it is VERY important that the prescription is filled and taken as directed PLEASE TAKE THE TABLETS/CAPSULES UNTIL ALL ARE USED. Should you develop hives, itching, skin rash, or difficulty breathing, stop the medication and call the doctor immediately or proceed to your nearest hospital emergency room.
  6. Probiotics: If you have been prescribed an antibiotic, please consider taking an over-the-counter probiotic supplement. The probiotic will provide more friendly bacteria present in the gut, the lower the chance of developing digestive issues like diarrhea. Three strains of probiotics in particular, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium lactis  have been shown to do this. They can safely be taken at exactly the same time as antibiotic medication. Yogurt is another option for probiotics. However, keep in mind that not all yogurt contains live probiotics. In some cases, the live bacteria have been killed during processing. For this reason, make sure to choose yogurt with active or live cultures. Also, always read the label on yogurt before you buy it and look for the Lactobacillus strain. The recommended dosage is as follows for either the probiotic supplement or yogurt:
  7. Take one probiotic capsule daily with breakfast, with your antibiotic medication and until the antibiotic course is finished, and for one week after.
  8. Eat one tablespoon of yogurt each time you take your antibiotic tablet.
  9. Pain: A certain amount of pain must be expected with all types of surgery. An appropriate pain medication has been prescribed for you. Please take it according to the instructions. It is advised that you do not drive while taking the pain prescription. However, if only Motrin is needed, most people are able to drive without any problem.
  10. Swelling: Some swelling and possible minimal bruising is to be expected and is not unusual. In most instances, swelling can be prevented or controlled. Apply the ice pack that has been given to you for a period of 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off during the day for the next two days. The application of ice to the outside of the face over the surgical area will minimize swelling. If after three days you still have inordinate swelling or pain, please call the office.
  11. Bleeding: A small amount of bleeding following surgery should not alarm you. If the bleeding is excessive or continuous, please call us at once. Vigorous rinsing of the mouth prolongs bleeding by removing the clotting blood, so when rinsing your mouth, do it gently. Nose bleeding for 1-2 days following the sinus elevation can be expected. Nose bleeding for longer than two days would be out of the ordinary and you should call Dr. Heller.
  12. DO NOT spit, gargle, or suck on a straw for 24 hours following your surgery. This tends to loosen the sutures/blood clots.

Additional Instructions:

If you have been given a prescription for a Medrol Dose Pack , please take it as follows not in the manner in which it reads on the package Please take all the pills for the first day in one dose as early in the morning as possible and do the same with each daily dose there after until gone. If given a refill, please do not get it filled unless you have been instructed too by the office.

If you have any questions, please contact our office. 614-885-1215 or

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