Post-Operative Instructions:
Socket Graft/Ridge Expansion

A specially prepared bone graft has been placed into the extraction site to help preserve your jawbone in preparation for possible implant replacement of the extracted tooth.

Your bone graft is made up of many particles. You may find some small granules in your mouth for the first several days. Do not be alarmed by these. It’s normal to have some of them come out of the graft site and spill into your mouth.

These are some things you could do to minimize the amount of particles that become dislodged:

  • Do not disturb or touch the wound.
  • Avoid vigorous rinsing or spitting for the first week after surgery to allow blood clots and grafted material to stabilize.
  • Do not apply pressure with your tongue or fingers to the grafted area, as the material is movable during the initial healing phase.
  • 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.
  • Avoid chewing on the graft site until instructed by your doctor.

On the first post-operative day, a gentle warm salt water rinse should be started; do not rinse too vigorously, as you can disturb some of the bone graft granules. Use a warm saltwater rinse (to make the saltwater solution, dissolve a 1 teaspoon of salt in an 8-ounce glass of warm tap water) at least 2 times a day. If Peridex® (chlorhexidine) oral rinse was prescribed, start it 48 hours after surgery. Use Peridex (chlorhexidine) full strength twice a day after brushing. Gently rinse a capful in the mouth for 1 minute, then gently spit out. Gentle tooth brushing should be started 48 hours from the operative day and continued at least twice a day. Please be very careful not to disturb the graft area. Remember, your mouth will heal faster and better if you maintain excellent oral hygiene.

Please be sure to show your temporary appliance, flipper, or partial denture to our doctor. It must be checked for proper fit before it can be worn. The appliance often requires a minor adjustment in order to prevent excessive pressure on the bone graft. Pressure on the bone graft could result in graft failure.

PLEASE make sure you have scheduled your 2-3 week follow-up before you leave the office.

It is our desire that your recovery is as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have questions about your progress, please call our office.

PLEASE NOTE: Telephone calls for narcotic (pain killer) prescriptions renewal are ONLY accepted during office hours.