Bone Grafting

You just had a bone grafting procedure done.

Whether you were put to sleep for this procedure or were only given local anesthesia, the post-operative instructions remain the same. If a local anesthetic was used to thoroughly numb the treated area, take caution not to bite or chew on your cheeks, lips and/or tongue for they may be numb for several hours following your appointment. Refrain from chewing until the numbness has completely worn off.

The bone graft is made up of many fine particles. You may find some small granules in your mouth for the first several days.

Do NOT be alarmed by the presence of these small granules. It is completely normal for some granules to become dislodged from the graft site, but there are some things you can do to minimize the amount of granules which become dislodged:

Do NOT rinse vigorously or spit for the first 3 to 5 days.

Do NOT apply pressure with your tongue or fingers to the grafted area. The material is movable during the initial phases of healing and it is best to leave the area undisturbed as much as possible.

Do NOT lift or pull your lip back to look at the sutures. This pulling or stretching can damage the wound, tear sutures and decrease the success of the graft. They will dissolve on their own within a week or need to be removed by your dentist.

Sometimes they become dislodged early with cleaning or food. This is no cause for alarm for the site will gradually fill in with new tissue over the next 3 to 4 weeks.

On the first day it is best to let the area settle and allow the blood clot to stabilize the graft material. Therefore, do not even rinse your mouth the first day.

After the first day you may begin gentle rinsing with warm salt water, but avoid rinsing vigorously and avoid forced spitting.


A gauze pack was placed on the surgical site(s) to limit bleeding while the clot forms and should be left in place for 30 to 40 minutes after you leave the office. Should slight bleeding continue, bite down softly on the gauze, making sure they remain in place. Continue to change the gauze packs every 30 to 40 minutes if there is continual bleeding. To replace gauze, fold a clean piece into a pad thick enough to bite on. Dampen the pad and place it directly on the surgical site. Repeat if necessary. BLEEDING should never be severe. If bleeding remains uncontrolled, please call your dentist immediately!


The length of time you experience numbness varies, depending on the type of anesthetic you’ve received. While your mouth is numb you’ll want to be careful not to bite on your cheek, lip, or tongue. The numbness should subside within a few hours.

DISCOMFORT following oral surgery may be most severe within the first 6 to 8 hours after surgery. Tablets for pain relief SHOULD be taken as necessary and according to instructions.

DO NOT drive or operate machinery and AVOID alcoholic beverages.

DO NOT take prescription pain medication on an empty stomach. If pain persists, please call your dentist immediately!

Following surgery your body require adequate fluids and nutrition. Begin with ‘sugary’ liquids (juice, milkshakes, etc.), this will help you ‘regain your energy’ much quicker and prevent dehydration. Initially, you may feel more comfortable with a softer diet. Proper nourishment aids in the healing process.

If you are diabetic, maintain your normal diet as much as possible and follow your physician’s instructions regarding your insulin schedule.


No rinsing of any kind should be preformed until the day following surgery. You can brush your teeth the night of surgery with a small amount of toothpaste but rinse gently. The day after surgery you should begin rinsing at least 5 to 6 times a day with a cup of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of salt.


It should be taken as prescribed until finished. It is not uncommon to feel slightly nauseated or itchy when beginning the antibiotics. If you develop a rash or other unfavorable reaction call the office for further information.

If you are currently taking oral contraceptives (Birth Control), for anything other than regulation, you should use an alternate method of birth control for the remainder of this cycle.


Partial dentures, ‘flippers’, or full dentures should not be used immediately after surgery. Resume using your prosthesis once you have had a follow-up visit with your restoring dentist and they have instructed you that it is alright to begin wearing your temporary denture.

It is your dentist’s desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have concerns and/or questions about your progress, please call your dentist’s office immediately!

We encourage you to speak up if you do not like or understand some aspects of your oral care. You deserve to be heard and your dentist deserves the opportunity to listen. This is what most dentists do, and they will make considerable efforts to accommodate you.

You will be responsible for all costs incurred if you fail to follow these instructions.