After a dental implant is placed, do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. There may be metal healing abutments protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue. In some cases the abutment will not be visible immediately following surgery.
Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding should not occur, but 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.
Very mild 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 over the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously, as much as possible, for the first 48 hours.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.
Unfortunately, most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort. Acute pain management should always start with over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®). If your surgeon approves these medications for you, you should take them as directed on the pill bottles, or by your surgeon. If you take the first pill before the anesthetic has worn off, you will be able to manage any discomfort better. Precede each pain pill with a small amount of food, and chances for nausea will be reduced.
The effects of pain medications vary widely among individuals. For severe pain, you may take your prescription opioid (narcotic). Do not take more opioid pills, or more often, than prescribed by your surgeon. If prescribed, Vicodin® / Norco® may be taken every 4-6 hours for pain. DO NOT USE TYLENOL. If you notice that the pain medication is not providing comfort for long enough, alternate the Vicodin / Norco and Ibuprofen throughout the day (ex: take 1 Vicodin, then 2 hours later, take ibuprofen…2 hours later another Vicodin / Norco). If you are unable to achieve a comfortable state, please call us for further advice. Do not drive or drink alcohol while you are taking opioids. Do not use opioids with benzodiazepines, sleeping medications, or other depressants. If you have any questions, ask your surgeon or any pharmacist before using these medications together as they can increase your risk of an accidental overdose.
Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection.
Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. The night of surgery, use the prescribed Peridex® Oral Rinse before bed. The day after surgery, the Peridex should be used three times daily, after breakfast and before bed. Be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds and then spit it out. Warm salt-water rinses (teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) should be used at least 4-5 times a day as well, especially after meals. Brush your teeth using Peridex instead of toothpaste. Use a cotton swab (Q-Tip) moistened with Peridex to gently clean the healing abutments three times a day. Do not use electric toothbrushes or WaterPik until you have gotten clearance from your surgeon. If at any time you notice any looseness or mobility of the abutments, please call our office for instructions.
If you have had an adjunctive procedure performed along with your implant surgery such as Bone or Soft Tissue Grafts please see the appropriate section for instructions.
Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this happens, you should discontinue exercising. Keep in mind that you are probably not taking normal nourishment. This may weaken you and further limit your ability to exercise.
Partial dentures, provisionals, or full dentures may not be used immediately after surgery and for at least 10 days. Make sure to receive instruction regarding your temporary appliance from your surgeon following your procedure.
Give us a call with any questions or concerns.