Post-Op Instructions Following Soft Tissue & Bone Replacement Graft

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The untreated areas of your mouth should receive typical plaque control procedures. The only plaque control for the surgical area should be rinsing with an approved antiseptic mouth rinse 2-3 times per day, which will aid in healing. Vigorous rinsing should be avoided. NO BRUSHING, FLOSSING and PROXIBRUSH in treated area for 4 Weeks. In 4 weeks, the office will provide you with a soft toothbrush.


R – REST– Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. Avoid strenuous activity for 2-3 days.

I – ICE– Ideally, sipping on ice water or ice tea is helpful for limiting swelling.  This can be performed IF THE TEETH ARE NOT TOO SENSITIVE TO COLD. Alternatively, apply an ice pack to the outside of your face over the treated area. A “Baggie” filled with ice and wrapped in a towel works well too. Use ice for only the first 24 hours after the surgery. The ice should not be used continually, but rather applied for 20 minute periods with a 10 minute break between each.

C COMPRESSION– This may be supplied by a periodontal dressing. Some blood may stain your saliva – this is normal. Oozing may be controlled by ice cold water held, NOT RINSED, over the surgical area for 10-15 minutes. If continuous bleeding occurs, discontinue any rinsing, avoid exertion and do the following: Moisten a tea bag or gauze, place it on the tongue side of the surgical area and a second one on the cheek side. Hold them against the site with your thumb and index fingers and apply CONTINUOUS FIRM pressure for one hour WITHOUT removing for inspection. If bleeding persists for more than one hour, call our office.

EELEVATION– Keep your head elevated. Sleep with two pillows. Use an old pillowcase or cover your pillow with a towel since there might be some oozing.    


Comfort will be maintained by taking the prescribed medications as directed on the label. If an antibiotic is prescribed, take as instructed and until ALL tablets are used. The non-narcotic pain medication has anti-inflammatory properties to control swelling and should be taken for the first 3-4 days even if there is no pain.

Discomfort and Swelling

This can vary from patient to patient in duration and amount. Generally, some swelling and discomfort will occur starting 2-4 days after the surgery and possibly persisting for up to one week. This is the normal course of events in healing. If this continues, please call the office.


The importance of a nutritious diet cannot be emphasized enough, particularly during the healing period. The patient who eats well will remain more comfortable. A hungry person can be more irritable. It has been shown that a person in this state is more susceptible to pain.

If a dental implant has been placed, avoid eating on the treated side until instructed. For most procedures, this time frame is usually four weeks.

Soft foods should be eaten, especially if a dressing is used. Avoid sharp and crunchy foods like tacos, chips and nuts. Also avoid acidic beverages (e.g. orange or tomato juice or soda) since they may irritate the surgical area. Tobacco and alcohol should not be used. Alcohol should not be used in combination with pain medications nor antibiotics. Dietary suggestions are listed below.


(Eat three balanced meals each day)

  • Milk, hot chocolate, tea, coffee
  • Fruit juices
  • Stewed fruits, prunes or similar fruits should be well mashed
  • Cooked cereals such as: Oatmeal and Cream of Wheat
  • Eggs- Soft boiled, scrambled, poached or soft fried
  • Bread- Whole wheat preferred. Avoid breads with seeds
  • Liquid protein drinks

Lunch and Dinner
  • Broth, bouillon, soups, stews
  • Ground beef
  • Baked or broiled fish
  • Broiled or stewed chicken (finely chopped)
  • Potatoes (baked, broiled or whipped)
  • Asparagus, peas, carrots, string beans
  • Noodles, cheese and macaroni
  • Cottage cheese, cream cheese, canned or cooked fruits
  • Fresh vegetable juices, cooked vegetables
  • Milkshakes, pudding, jello, custard, ice cream

*A blender may be used to prepare the foods

Future Appointments

You will be given specific appointments for postoperative care. They should be kept as scheduled to ensure success.


If any questions occur, do not hesitate to contact our office at 212-222-5225.