What's most important for patients to do post extraction to ensure successful Bone Grafting?

I was instructed to use gauze to keep pressure where two teeth (13, 14) were removed, to use ice to reduce swelling qnd take meds for pain, inflammation and to prevent infection. Taking pills soaked the gauze, the pain meds made it hard to stay awake for the ice regimen and I had a hard time getting nutrition. What qre the most important priorities and how best to implement?

Doctor Answers 2

Tips on post extraction care

Most importantly, do not smoke.  
1) Smoking will increase healing time, decrease white cell count, increase the chance of a "dry socket".  A "dry socket" is when the blood clot has been lost, usually from smoking, sucking from a straw(any negative pressure), exercising right after, poor health, diabetes, etc.  The bone is actually exposed and needs to be covered with daily or every 2 days packing placed in your dental office until it heals from the inside out.
2) be sure to keep hydrated with water, juice, fruit, watermelon, ice-cream, (no straws).  You can also increase your nutrition with Ensure and other supplemental drinks.  You can add ice cream or just place it in a cup and in your freezer.  Use a spoon and eat it that way.  Soft food such as scramble eggs, steamed soft vegetables, tuna sandwiches, etc.
I hope you are considering implants to replace those back teeth.  Front teeth do not stay healthy and in place long if you have no back teeth to support them.   Remember after 25 +, front teeth are mainly for looks :), do not use as tools.  
Please follow up with your dentist as he/she has your dental and medical history to help you the most.   I can only give you general information not necessarily specific to your situation.
Best Regards.  (sorry this took so long to respond, I just found your request for answers.)


Minneapolis Dentist
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Successful post-operative healing for a dental bone graft

It is great that you are concerned with achieving the most ideal success possible for your bone graft. The purpose of the gauze is only to help form a blood clot which happens after 20-30 mins. After the bleeding stops the gauze can be taken out. The ice helps with swelling the first 12 hours after the surgery. If you miss some icing it has no longterm consequence other than a little extra swelling or bruising 2-4 days post operatively. Try to take the pain medication with a meal and it will help you to avoid nausea. If you are still have trouble with vomiting with the pain meds you can request to have them switched.
The key to successful bone grafting is to avoid dislodging the bone graft. Activities such as smoking, swishing, or drinking through a straw should be avoided for about a week to prevent any suction or turbulence which could cause the graft to dislodge. Hope this helps. Good luck and best wishes.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.