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 metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue.

Bleeding

Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding (your mouth fills up rapidly with blood) can be controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues please call for further instructions.

Swelling

Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag, or a plastic bag, or towel filled with ice on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously, as much as possible, for the first 36 hours.

Diet

Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery, but do not chew in the area of the implant. Return to a normal diet, while avoiding chewing in the area of the implant, as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.

Pain

Discomfort is a consequence of most oral surgical procedures. Local anesthesia is usually administered and typically provides several hours without pain. As the numbness subsides the pain will usually increase. It is best to address the discomfort before it becomes significant. For adult patients who can tolerate aspirin/ non-steroidal anti-inflammatory products, ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) two or three 200 mg tablets may be taken every 4 hours. In addition, or for patients who do not tolerate aspirin/NSAIDs, one or two tablets of acetaminophen (Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol) may be taken every 4-6 hours. Most children are permitted to take ibuprofen and acetaminophen, but the dose must be adjusted according to age/weight (follow the instructions on the bottle).

You may have received a prescription for pain medicine. This medication should be used only if necessary and should not be taken on an empty stomach. For moderate-severe pain, take this medication as directed. This medication can be taken in combination with ibuprofen, unless otherwise notified, but should not be taken in addition to acetaminophen (Tylenol) as the prescription pain medication will likely already contain acetaminophen. The prescribed pain medicine will make you groggy and will slow down your reflexes. This may be exacerbated by alcohol and some other prescription medications. Do not drive an automobile or operate hazardous machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Application of ice to the face adjacent to the surgical site should also help alleviate pain. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call the office.

Antibiotics

If you have been placed on antibiotics, take the tablets or liquid as directed. Antibiotics will be given to help prevent infection. Discontinue antibiotic use in the event of a rash or other unfavorable reaction. The effectiveness of oral birth control pills may be compromised when antibiotics are taken. An alternative method of birth control should be used for the remainder of that monthly cycle. Call the office if you have any questions.

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. The night of surgery, use mouthwash or a cup of warm water with a teaspoon of salt to rinse vigorously before bed. The day after surgery, the rinses should be performed at least 4-5 times a day, as well, especially after meals. A prescription mouthwash (i.e. chlorhexidine (Peridex)) may also have been provided, if so , use as prescribed. Initially do not brush the implant as you are likely to traumatize the adjacent gum tissues. Cleaning the implant with toothpaste or mouthwash on a Q-tip or gauze pad is recommended for the first week. After one week, brushing your teeth and the implant healing abutment is no problem, but be gentle.

Activity

Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you are considering exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. Keep in mind that you are may not be taking normal nourishment. This may weaken you and further limit your ability to exercise.

Wearing your Prosthesis

Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures should not be used immediately after surgery and for at least 10 days, unless otherwise instructed by the surgeon. This was discussed in the pre-operative consultation.