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State of the Art
Oral Surgical Care

Comprehensive Oral Surgery

After Sinus Lift

Please read the information below carefully to prepare for anesthesia and your oral surgery procedure. Call our office if you have questions: 919-567-3293.

A certain amount of swelling, pain and bleeding is normal.

The following instructions are provided to make your postoperative recovery period as short and pleasant as possible.

You will be having a Sinus Lift if the area in the upper jaw that you are to have an implant(s) currently has insufficient bone because of an enlarged sinus. This procedure will augment the deficient area in the maxillary sinus. The bone that is being grafted will most commonly be coming from freeze-dried bone and artificial synthetic bone. Other sites may be used for a donation of your own bone as previously discussed with you by Dr. Mahar. Because of this, you may have two post-surgical wounds: The donor site and the recipient site.


  • Apply ice immediately in the areas where the surgery was done. Because your graft was in the upper jaw, you can expect swelling and discomfort up into the nose and even under the eyes and cheeks. Bruising and discoloration are not unusual. Crushed ice or equivalent should be placed in a plastic bag then in a washcloth and placed on the face. Apply for 30 minutes, then off for 20–30 minutes. This should be done on a near-continuous basis (or as much as possible) for the first 48 hours and longer if possible or if this helps reduce your pain.
  • Bite down and maintain firm pressure on the gauze pack that was placed at the end of your surgery. There may be two areas of gauze in your mouth. Do this for at least 30 minutes. At that time remove the pack and replace it with another gauze sponge as provided. Repeat this as necessary. There should not be excessive bleeding. Bright red blood rapidly pooling in the area is not normal. If this occurs and does not decrease with pressure please call the office immediately: 919-567-3293.


  • There may be a small amount of nasal discharge. It may be clear or slightly bloody. Excessive bleeding from the nose should be reported immediately: 919-567-3293.
  • IF AT ALL POSSIBLE, DO NOT BLOW YOUR NOSE FOR THE NEXT FOUR (4) WEEKS. This may be longer if indicated. You may sniff all you like but NO BLOWING.
  • If you have a temporary flipper or denture to wear do not place it until the numbness in the area is gone. You very likely may need to wait until the stitches are removed until your denture can be worn. When it is placed it should not touch the gums in the area of the surgery. If it does, this can cause ulceration of the wound edges and breakdown of the suture margins. If you have questions about the fit of your flipper or denture, do not wear it until Dr. Mahar or your referring dentist can see you.
  • You will notice that you cannot see any new bone in your mouth as the gums cover the area. The area of the graft placement will feel full and tight. This is normal. Do not stretch your lip daily to inspect the area. This can cause wound breakdown.
  • Avoid excess activity. In addition, DO NOT SMOKE. Do not drink with a straw or drink carbonated liquids (minimum 3 days). Do not consume alcoholic beverages while taking your pain medication. SMOKING CAN CAUSE THIS PROCEDURE TO FAIL.
  • Do not rinse or spit for a minimum of 72 hours and longer if possible. This tends to disturb the blood clot and can prolong bleeding, open the wound and slow healing. There should be no blood in your mouth. Saliva can be swallowed. Do not brush your teeth next to the surgery site for 48 hours or only brush in areas away from your graft surgery.
  • When expectorating, BE GENTLE. If you used a prescribed mouthwash prior to surgery, it should be continued starting 24 hours after your surgery. Place the mouthwash in the area of the surgery and let it sit 30–60 seconds. Do not rinse with it until after you have returned for suture removal.

Nutrition & Medications

  • If you were asleep for the surgery, be sure to eat soft nutritious food prior to taking any medications. This will decrease the chances of post-surgical nausea. You were prescribed an antibiotic prior to surgery this should be continued until all the pills have been taken. You were prescribed a decongestant; take this until it is all gone.
  • Take your pain medications as needed in accordance with the directions. Codeine or hydrocodone can be supplemented with Advil or ibuprofen-type medications. Be sure you have no allergies that the doctor does not know about.
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