Tissue Graft Post-Operative Care
There is no healing that occurs for the first 24 hours after a surgical procedure. The natural response to “injury” is swelling. The body always responds to an injury with a predictable inflammatory response, as the first step towards healing. Our Post-Op instructions are designed to set up an environment of minimal swelling. Your grafting procedure was performed using a minimally invasive pouch procedure. Because it is a “closed” site, it is more subject to post-operative swelling. It is very important that the post-operative instructions are followed.
Care of the mouth
Brushing and Flossing – Begin brushing and flossing the areas not operated on the day following surgery. AVOID THE SURGICAL SITES until given specific brushing instructions at your postoperative visit. You may notice a white film over the surgical sites. This is completely normal.
Antioxidant Gel- At your surgical visit, you will receive AO ProVantage Gel. It is a dental antioxidant that is very soothing and promotes healing.
Apply two pumps to the surgical site every three hours during waking hours the first week after surgery, then 3 times per day until your first post-operative appointment. Avoid eating or drinking for 30 minutes after application of the gel.
Electric Toothbrushes/ Waterpiks
DO NOT use an electric toothbrush (Sonicare or Oral B) or Waterpik for at least 8 weeks following surgery
FIRST 24 HOURS– Adequate nutrition is essential for normal healing. Following surgery, your diet should be restricted to cold liquids. Yogurt, smoothies, milkshakes, and dietary supplements such as Instant Breakfast or Ensure are good choices. AVOID PEROXIDE, ALCOHOL, CARBONATED BEVERAGES, AND DRINKING THROUGH A STRAW.
AFTER 24 HOURS – You may have soft foods such as cooked vegetables, fish, pasta and meatloaf, which are easily chewed. You should use utensils and avoid chewing at the surgical site for 2 weeks, DO NOT SKIP MEALS. If you take nourishment regularly, you will feel better, gain strength, have less discomfort, and heal faster.
Rest– Plan to rest at home the remainder of the day of surgery and the following day. You may read, watch TV or work at your desk at home. When sleeping, elevate your head to decrease swelling.
After 24 Hours-You may return to normal daily routine, but avoid strenuous activities such as heavy lifting, or exercise programs which elevate your heart rate for one week following surgery.
Pain Medications– Take pain medication within one hour after treatment with milk, fruit juice, or a full glass of water. Never take pain medication on an empty stomach. This medication may be repeated every three to four hours needed for discomfort. DO NOT USE ASPIRIN or products containing aspirin for one week following surgery. Aspirin, Advil, and Aleve can contribute to bleeding problems. Only the non-aspirin pain reliever, Tylenol is acceptable.
Take prescribed antibiotics as directed until all have been taken. You will begin this medication the day prior to surgery.
Swelling is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and eventual repair. Your swelling may increase until 3 days post-operatively. This is totally normal. If you experience an increase in swelling beyond the third day or an increase in discomfort, call our office.
To help minimize swelling, we will send you home with ice packs. Place the pack on the outside of your face, over the treated area, for 20 minutes on and 2 hours off. Continue to alternate 20 minutes on 2 hours off for the first 24 hours after surgery, during waking hours.
Because your graft was in a pouch, there will be minimal visible bleeding that will show in your mouth. Sometimes any bleeding in your mouth that mixes with saliva can look like more than it is. If excessive bleeding occurs, please call our office.
DO NOT SMOKE for three weeks after surgery. Smoking is detrimental to healing tissues and will affect the results of surgery.
We do not use the type of sutures that dissolve by themselves for grafting procedures. This type of suture begins breaking down around 7-10 days after placement. When they start to dissolve it causes inflammation at the surgical site. Inflammation if not good for the graft and cause an adverse reaction. We have used a suture that is non- resorbable. This type of suture we use is very clean and actually repels bacteria. Your sutures will be removed at the two-month post-op visit. There will be very little sensation associated with suture removal and requires no anesthesia.
In case of problems
If you should have any problems such as excessive bleeding, pain, or difficulty in opening your mouth, call our office immediately for further instructions or additional treatment at 931-787-1718.