After Exposure & Bond
A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following a bone graft. Slight oozing or blood-tinged saliva is not uncommon for the first 12 to 24 hours. You may be asked to keep a gauze pad over the surgical site with firm biting pressure for one (1) hour. After this time, remove and discard the gauze pad. It does not need to be replaced unless bleeding continues or recurs. If bleeding continues, you may bite on a moistened tea bag in the same manner. Tannic acid in tea helps blood to clot. If bleeding does not subside, please call the office (951.684.5611) for further instructions.
Swelling is normally expected after most surgical procedures and is usually proportional to the extent of surgery performed. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes and sides of the face is not uncommon. This is the body’s normal and healthy reaction to surgery. Most swelling will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until 48 to 72 hours post-operatively. However, swelling and discomfort may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. Ice packs should be applied to the outside of the face over the area where surgery was performed for the first 24 to 48 hours. Ice packs should be left on for 30 minutes and then left off for 30 minutes while awake. After 48 hours ice has no beneficial effect. Instead, the application of heat may be helpful in reducing the size of swelling more quickly. On occasion, some residual swelling may last a week or longer.
Take the prescribed pain medication before you begin to feel discomfort. This usually coincides with the start of the local anesthetic wearing off. Taking pain medication on an empty stomach may cause nausea, so it is recommended to take the pills with food or drink. Pain medication may make you groggy and slow down your reflexes. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery while medicated. It is also best to avoid alcoholic beverages. Aspirin or other over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin) may be used when appropriate.
Antibiotics may be prescribed for certain patients after bone grafting to help prevent infection. If you have been placed on an antibiotic, take the tablets or liquid as directed until gone. Discontinue antibiotic use in the event of a rash or any other unfavorable reaction, and notify our office immediately.
It is best to wait until after the local anesthetic has completely worn off before beginning to eat. It’s understandable that your food intake will be limited for the first few days after your procedure. Start with plenty of fluids (juice, milk, water) during the first 24 hours. Stay well hydrated. You may eat anything soft and cool the first day by chewing away form the graft site. Do not drink hot fluids or eat hot food the first day. Do not use straws as this may encourage more bleeding. Avoid hard, crunchy foods and foods with seeds that may harm the area. It’s best to progress to more solid foods and return to your normal diet as soon as possible.
A lot of patients ask, “What can I eat after surgery?” Here are a few examples: Clear Liquids: Apple Juice, Ginger Ale, 7 Up, Gatorade, Jell-O, Clear Broth Breakfast: Buttermilk Pancakes, French Toast, Oatmeal, Yogurt, Cream of Wheat, Cereal, Scrambled Eggs, Cheese Omelets, Biscuits & Gravy Lunch: Potato Soup, Vegetable Soup, Chicken Noodle Soup, Tuna Salad Sandwich, Egg Salad Sandwich, Creamy Peanut Butter & Jelly, Hummus on soft pita bread , mashed potatoes. Snack: Banana with Peanut butter, fruit smoothie, milk shakes, protein shakes, soft fruit, yogurt. Dinner: Macaroni & Cheese, Bean & Cheese burrito, pasta with garlic & Butter, Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, shredded chicken, dumplings, baked potato
Please avoid: spicy, acidic foods, chewy meat, salads, croutons, drinking with a straw (for the first 48 hours) popcorn, crusty bread, crunchy crackers, chips, pretzels, nuts, seeds, grapefruit juice, bagels, waffles, bacon, crunchy cereals.
Adjust your diet accordingly. Do not eat anything you don’t feel comfortable with. The above are just examples of things you can eat.
Good oral hygiene is essential for good healing and to reduce the risk of infection. Our doctors may prescribe an antibiotic mouth rise (Peridex) to begin the night of surgery and continue as directed on the label. Begin warm salt-water rinses (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water) the day after surgery, and rinse four to five times a day, especially after meals. Rinse very gently to avoid disturbing the bone graft. Continue to brush your teeth as best you can – remembering to stay away from the surgical site.
SUTURES & PACKING
You may have sutures in the area of the exposed tooth. If one or two becomes dislodged early, there is no cause for alarm. Dr. Jong or our Certified Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Assistants will tell you if your sutures are dissolvable or if you will need a return visit to have them removed. If a surgical packing was placed, leave it alone. The packing helps to keep the tooth exposed. If it gets dislodged or falls out, please notify our office for further instructions.
There may be a small black suture or silver wire attaching a chain to the wire that connects your teeth together. Plan on scheduling an appointment to see your orthodontist one to two weeks following your surgery. Your orthodontist will remove this suture or wire before beginning the process of moving your impacted tooth into the proper position.