After Block Graft Surgery
Block grafts are usually taken from your chin or from the “wisdom tooth area” of your jaw. The area we take the bone from is usually more sore than the site we are placing the bone.
DO NOT DISTURB OR TOUCH THE GRAFTED AREA:
Do not apply pressure with your tongue or fingers to the grafted area, as the material is movable during the initial healing.
Do not vigorously rinse or spit for 3-5 days to allow the blood clot and grafted material to stabilize. The day after your procedure, gentle rinsing is advised but not too vigorously. ABSOLUTELY NO WATER PIK’S!
Do not lift or pull on the lip to look at the sutures. This can actually cause damage to the wound site and tear the sutures.
Do NOT Smoke. Do NOT drink alcohol. Smoking causes blood vessel constriction and alcohol causes dehydration, which are both harmful to healing and it is best to avoid during the first week of healing.
Swelling and bruising is not uncommon following a block graft but varies from one patient to another. Using a cold pack, ice bag or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel and applied to the surgical area can minimize swelling. This should be applied twenty minutes on and twenty minutes off during the first 24-72 hours after surgery.
Unfortunately most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort. You will usually have a prescription for pain medication. If you take the first pill before the anesthetic has worn off, you should be able to manage any discomfort better. Some patients find that stronger pain medicine causes nausea. To avoid nausea we recommend taking each pain pill with a small amount of food. The effects of pain medications vary widely among individuals. If you do not achieve adequate relief at first, you may supplement each pain pill with an analgesic such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Do not take extra Tylenol (acetaminophen) as most prescription narcotics already contain this medicine. Some patients may even require two of the pain pills at one time. Remember that the most severe pain is usually within six hours after the local anesthetic wears off; after that your need for medicine should lessen.
If you find you are taking large amounts of pain medicine at frequent intervals, please call our office. If you anticipate needing more prescription medication for the weekend, you must call for a refill during weekday business hours.
Eat any nourishing food that can be taken with comfort. Avoid extremely hot foods. Do not use a straw for the first few days after surgery. It is sometimes advisable, but not absolutely required, to confine the first day’s intake to liquids or pureed foods (soups, puddings, yogurt, milk shakes, etc.). It is best to avoid foods like nuts, sunflower seeds, popcorn, chips, etc., which may get lodged in the surgical areas. Over the next several days you may gradually progress to solid foods. It is important not to skip meals! If you take nourishment regularly you will feel better, gain strength, have less discomfort and heal faster. If you are a diabetic, maintain your normal eating habits or follow instructions given by your doctor.
It is important to take your prescribed medications as directed and until finished.