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Geoffrey R. Bauman, DMD, MS | Ridge Preservation Graft in Newark

Geoffrey R. Bauman, DMD, MS / Board Certified,  American Board of Periodontology
Fellow, Midwest Implant Institute



Ridge Preservation Graft

Considerations for the graft area:  Movement of the graft is detrimental to the graft and may cause it to be lost.  Therefore you should avoid talking as much as possible for the first 2 days and minimize talking for the next 8 days after the surgery.   Avoid touching the graft area with your tongue.  Do not rub your cheek or lip over the area of the graft.  Try not to sleep with pressure on the area where the graft was placed.   If you find that you have to sneeze or cough, try not to hold it in as this may spike your blood pressure and increase the risk of bleeding.  If some of the stitches start to hang down and you can’t tolerate them, you may call to come in sooner  to have them removed.  You may notice that the outer portion of the graft turns white or yellow after a few days.  This is a normal development as some of the outer layers of the graft heal.  If you have been provided with a temporary partial denture and you notice that the false tooth is pushing on the graft as you close your mouth, call Dr. Bauman immediately as this can make the graft fail.    

Home care:  Do not perform any brushing or flossing until the second day after the surgery.  On the second day, you may begin brushing and flossing all the areas of the mouth not involved with the surgery.  You will be given a mouthwash (Peridex) to use in the surgical area in the morning and evening after you have brushed and flossed the non-surgical areas.  However, do not vigorously rinse with this or any other liquid.  Just allow it to pool over the surgical site for about 1-2 minutes and then spit out.

Pain:  Some discomfort should be expected post-surgically; however, the dentist will have given you prescriptions for medications to control pain.  Take the medication as directed.  Even a doubling of the recommended dose can cause severe problems.  Take your first dose of ibuprofen or Tylenol before the numbness wears off.  If the Ibuprofen is not adequate, then start taking the narcotic in addition to the ibuprofen (don’t stop taking the ibuprofen).  Do not take Tylenol in addition to the narcotic as there is already Tylenol in the narcotic pill).   If a narcotic (Percocet, Synalgos, Vicodin, Tylenol #3) was prescribed and you do not need it, take it to a certified local take-back site dispose of it in the toilet.  Do not save this medication for pain at a later date.  Narcotics can be detected by blood or urine test and you may be prosecuted for taking the drug without a current prescription.  Most pain medications have the potential to cause nausea and vomiting.  This effect is decreased by taking the medications with 8 oz of fluid. With narcotics, it helps to remain still (even walking around can be a problem) to prevent nausea.  If nausea ensues with narcotics, you must stop taking them. It will only get worse otherwise.           

Bleeding:  You will experience some slight oozing of blood around the surgical areas and it is rarely a problem.  However, if you notice faster bleeding, particularly in the palate where the graft was taken, dampen a piece of gauze or facial tissue, fold it over for some thickness, and place moderate pressure with this over the site where the graft was taken and the bleeding is coming from.  It will not stop the bleeding just to lay the gauze over it; you must apply pressure.  Apply pressure for at least 20 minutes without removing the gauze pressure from the area (do not wipe the area with the gauze).  It will break the clot and continue to bleed if you remove the gauze pressure sooner than 20 minutes.  If the bleeding doesn’t stop, you may use a damp (not soaking wet) tea bag in the same manner as the gauze.  Do not create suction in your mouth to try to gather the blood to spit.  That will make the area bleed faster.  Just spit out and apply pressure as described above.  If it still doesn’t stop, then just apply pressure and call Dr. Bauman.   It is recommended that you change bed linens to some that you will not be concerned if they are stained because there is often a little oozing at night during sleep.         

Diet:  Your diet should include the equivalent of 8 glasses of water per day (anything except for alcohol or soft drinks during the first 4 days).  1000 mg of vitamin C may be helpful for healing.  For the first day, just liquids up to a milk shake/pudding consistency.  2nd day soups with soft vegetables, rice, short noodles, etc;  on the 3rd day, you may start some softer foods such as baked potatoes, ground beef, etc., in very small bites and always chew on the opposite side from the surgical areas.  If you  are not careful you might knock the dressings loose and cause severe pain and bleeding. Continue that softer diet through the first two weeks.  The surgical areas of your mouth should not be used for chewing for 4 weeks after the surgery.           

Smoking/alcohol: Smoking causes blood vessel constriction and alcohol causes dehydration which are both harmful to healing and it is best that you not smoke or drink for as long as possible after the procedure, especially during the first week.           

ExerciseAvoid heavy physical exercise for at least 3 days after surgery.  After that you may play it by ear-  if the area begins to throb as you start exercising, then discontinue for another day.