For Soft Tissue Grafts

The following information will help you be prepared for your upcoming connective tissue grafts.

Pre-Surgical Instructions

Please have your prescriptions you received at your consultation filled prior to your surgery appointment. (Pain pills and mouth rinse).

Eat before your surgery appointment; it helps the anesthetic to be more effective. Have a normal breakfast or normal lunch.  Taking sedative – Eating must be three hours prior to your appointment.  Start taking Halcion (sedative), two hours prior to your appointment.

Do not take any aspirin products or blood thinning medication for three days prior to your appointment. If needed, Tylenol or Advil (ibuprofen) may be taken, they are okay.  Please consult with your physician if you need to stop taking your Coumadin.

Post-surgical instructions

Your connective tissue grafts are very fragile and will not be 100% effective if disturbed.  Please refrain from stretching your lips and cheeks to view or show the graft site.  If your graft is disturbed in any way, you run the risk of having your graft fail.  Do not look at the surgery site after leaving here.

Some areas may remain sore for 5 to 6 days.  The grafts may be a whitish or grayish appearance for 4 to 6 days after surgery, but this is normal until full blood circulation is restored.


You may have several prescriptions.  Have your prescriptions filled prior to your appointment.  Please take your medications as directed (pain fills and mouth rinse).  If you are taking a sedative (Halcion) for your procedure, please have someone drive you to and from your appointment. Pain medications should not be taken with any alcohol or when operating a vehicle. Do not take any pain medications on an empty stomach. If you develop a rash, itching, or other unusual reactions, stop taking the medication and promptly call our office.

You may take up to 4 Advil (Ibuprofen) every 4 hours or 4 times a day with or without your pain medication. It will act as an anti-inflammatory.


Swelling should be expected.  Immediately following surgery, an ice pack may be applied to your face over the surgical area. Alternate 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off throughout the entire day of the surgery.  Avoid strenuous physical activity for 2 days after surgery to reduce swelling and bleeding.  You will have an increase in swelling, bleeding and pain if too much activity is done.  Please do not smoke.  Smoking will delay the healing process and should be avoided as long as possible.

Expect the 3rd or 4th day after the surgery to be the worst in swelling.  Do not be alarmed if you have swelling at this time, it is normal.  By the 5th day, the swelling should be down.  For bruising and swelling you may go to any health food store (i.e. Whole Foods) and get some Arnica Montana.  it will come in a pill or ointment form.


Expect minimal bleeding from the surgery site. It will bleed. Small amounts of blood may color your saliva the first few hours after surgery.  When saliva mixes with a small amount of blood, it will appear to be more than what it actually is.  To stop bleeding place ice-cold water in your mouth and gently swish around or hold it in for a few minutes. If bleeding or oozing persists from the roof of the mouth, pressure can be applied with the thumb for 15 minutes and the bleeding should stop. 

We will place surgical glue over the donor site on the roof of your mouth.  This will feel rough to your tongue.  Do not play with it.  This along with the sutures will fall out within 5-7 days.


Your normal hygiene routine will be interrupted for the week after your surgery. Do not brush or floss the surgery site, leave it alone. You may brush and floss the teeth not involved in the surgery.

Do not rinse your mouth that first day.  Please allow 24 hours of healing before you start using your mouth rinse.  Do not rinse vigorously.  Rinse with the prescribed rinse (Peridex) only.

We will have you come back 1 week after for a post-op appointment.  We will remove sutures at this point and check the progress of healing.  Do not use a WaterPik until the area is healed.


You will want to use care when eating, softer foods are strongly recommended for the first 5-7 days after the surgery. Try to chew on the opposite side as much as possible.  Do not eat foods that require heavy pressure for chewing. Please avoid foods that are hard, sticky, or spicy. Colder and lukewarm foods are best 24 hours after the procedure. Do not drink through a straw for at least 2 days.

Acceptable foods are:
Yogurt, eggs, soups, smoothies, chicken, pasta, rice, oatmeal, mashed potatoes, cheese, ground beef, cottage cheese, ice cream, pudding, juices and lots of fluids.

Foods to avoid:
Popcorn, nuts, seeds, hard candies, apples, crackers, chips, and hard breads.

If you need to get a hold of us and we are not in the office you may call Dr. Robinson on his cell phone. Please do not hesitate to call with any questions.  Office Steven D. Robinson, DDS Phone Number Steven D. Robinson, DDS Phone Number 775-827-3302, Cell: (775) 232-6345