Care After Placement of Dental Implants
Try not to disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. Frequently, you will have a metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue.
Some bleeding or redness in your 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. Alternatively, a wet black tea bag can be wrapped with gauze, placed on the bleeding site with biting pressure for 30 undisturbed minutes. If bleeding continues please call our office for further instructions.
Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. This swelling can peak as much as 72 hours later depending upon the procedure. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag, or a plastic bag, or towel filled with ice external to the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously, as much as possible, for the first 24 hours. Also, keep your head above your heart even during sleep for the first 24 – 48 hours.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid extremely hot liquids or food for the first 24 hours. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery IE) things that you can smash with a fork. Return to a normal diet as soon as you are comfortable, unless otherwise directed.
You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you get home, before your local anesthetic wears off. For moderate pain, 1 or 2 Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every 3-4 hours. Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may be taken instead of Tylenol. Ibuprofen, bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 2 – 4 tablets (400 – 800 mgs) may be taken every 6 hours as needed for pain. For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed. Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it.
Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection. Please complete your prescription.
Good oral hygiene is essential for proper and uncomplicated healing. The night after your surgery, minimize brushing or aggressive oral rinsing. The day after surgery, advance your oral hygiene as per your comfort but careful brushing is recommended. Warm saltwater rinses (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a an 8 oz glass of warm water) should be used at least 4-5 times a day, as well, especially after meals. Brushing your teeth is no problem but brushing your healing abutments should be delayed 1 – 2 weeks. Prior to this, the healing abutments can be cleaned with a wet cotton tipped applicator. Be gentle initially with brushing the surgical areas.
REMEMBER: A clean wound heals better and faster.
Most sutures used are dissolving. These sutures generally will begin to fall out at 5 – 7 days.
Keep physical activities to a minimum for the first several days after your surgery. If you are considering exercise in the first several days, throbbing or bleeding can occur. If this occurs, you should minimize or discontinue exercising. Keep in mind that you are probably not taking normal nourishment for the first several days. This may weaken you and further limit your ability to comfortably exercise.
Wearing your Prosthesis
Partial dentures or full dentures may be used after your surgery but only with the permission of Drs. Elias, Stephens or Verratti. This was discussed in your pre-operative consultation and reinforced in your post-operative instructions. Take care to avoid pressure from these appliances on your surgical site or healing abutments.