After Placement of Dental Implants
Home Instructions After Dental Implant Surgery
After dental implant surgery, do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. There may be a a temporary tooth, prosthesis, or metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue. Implant sites usually heal without complications if simple precautions are taken. These areas need special attention and should not be neglected. Following these instructions is important.
Wearing your Prosthesis
You will be given specific instructions regarding when you should wear your partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures.
You should reduce your activity and avoid strenuous exercise the day after your procedure. This helps to reduce risk of bleeding and will permit the formation of a healthy clot in the socket, which is necessary for healing. You may then return to normal activity when comfort allows.
Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. If you feel that there is more than minor oozing, look at the area. If there is a clot sticking out of the socket or blood visibly flows from the wound, then take a clean gauze pad and fold it over the site and close your teeth tightly over the gauze so that there is pressure against the bleeding spot. Hold this in place for 1-2 hours. If necessary, repeat. Bleeding less than this usually stops on its own. If bleeding persists, call the office for further instructions.
Some swelling is normal after a surgical procedure and peaks at 2-3 days. To minimize swelling apply ice to the surgical site 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off for the first 24 hours. Sleep with your head elevated with 2-3 pillows at night. Apply Vaseline or Chapstick to your lips to keep them moist.
Postoperative pain will vary between persons and for different types of procedures. The local anesthesia (numbness) may last for several hours. You will sometimes be provided with a prescription medication for pain which you should take as directed only when and if needed. Otherwise, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.) will provide excellent pain relief. Do not take ibuprofen if you take any blood thinners (Coumadin/Warfarin, Lovenox, Eliquis, Xarelto, etc.) or anti-platelet agents (Plavix, etc.). Alternatively, Tylenol can be used if you cannot take ibuprofen. Children should always use children’s strength medicine. Always follow the dosing instruction on the package unless we have instructed you to do otherwise.
If you are prescribed antibiotics, begin taking them as directed and finish taking them according to the instructions until they are gone.
It is important for you to maintain adequate nutrition and hydration while you recover from your procedure despite some temporary limitations. Wait until the local anesthesia (numbness) has worn off before eating food that requires chewing. Do not chew over the surgical site until you are advised that it is safe to do so. Liquids, custards, pudding, etc. are acceptable as soon as the gauze is removed. Let comfort be your guide, but start with soft foods such as well-cooked pasta, fish, overcooked vegetables, eggs, etc. During the first few days avoid foods that are hard, crunchy, chewy, or contain small particles such as seeds or nuts. Avoid using straws for the first week.
BRUSHING AND FLOSSING
Begin gently brushing your teeth the day after your procedure. Avoid brushing the gums or sutures near the surgical site to prevent the area from opening. Flossing near the surgical site should be avoided for the first week.
RINSING THE MOUTH
The blood clot should be given time to form and should not be disturbed. Therefore, the mouth should not be rinsed the day of the procedure. After the first day, warm salt water (1 teaspoon salt in a glass of warm water) should be used to rinse the mouth four times each day for one week. Avoid vigorous mouth rinsing which can dislodge the blood clot. Depending on the type of procedure, you may be prescribed a prescription mouth rinse which you should use after brushing your teeth and rinsing with salt water.
If you are a smoker, you are at risk for delayed healing. Smoking should be discontinued for at least the first 7 days after surgery to minimize pain and promote healing.
Call us if you think something is not right. Reasons for concern would include things such as uncontrolled or prolonged pain, unexpected swelling, uncontrolled bleeding, or uncontrolled nausea/vomiting. If after hours and the problem cannot wait until the office opens, the doctor can be reached promptly by calling the office.