After Placement of Dental Implants

Do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. There may be a metal healing abutment (cap) 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 and for the first 2-3 weeks. Return to a normal diet as tolerated thereafter unless otherwise directed.

Pain

You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing 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: 2-3 tablets may be taken every 3-4 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. Have a full stomach prior to taking medications.

Antibiotics

When given, be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to completion to help prevent infection.

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. The night of surgery a prescribed Peridex or salt water may oral rinse be used before bed. The day after surgery, the Peridex if prescribed, or salt water should be used twice daily, after all meals. Be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds 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, especially after meals. Brushing your teeth and the healing abutments is no problem. Be gentle initially with brushing the surgical areas. Your comfort is sometimes the best guide.

Activity

Keep physical activities to a minimum for 1 week immediately following surgery. If you are considering exercise, we recommend non-impact activity. Increased activity may result in throbbing or bleeding. If this occurs, 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.

Wearing your Prosthesis

Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures are adjusted for use or may be instructed not be used immediately after surgery and for at least 10 days. This should be discussed in the pre-operative consultation. Remember, a liquid or soft diet is still required.

For patients who have teeth attached to implants on the same day of surgery, remember it is for esthetics and not active chewing. We recommend no active chewing on the “immediate temporary prosthesis” for 6 weeks. Yes, that means a liquid diet (soups, shakes, smoothies, etc.) for those with full arch prostheses. For single teeth or group of teeth located in a small area, avoid chewing on it for 6 weeks. After 6 weeks, a soft mechanical diet (pasta, fish, eggs, mashed potatoes etc.). A full mechanical diet is usually OK after 4 months. Remember, the temporary prosthesis is not meant to last more than 4-6 months and can discolor or break. It is important to follow through seeing your dentist for the final restoration of your implant/s.