After Placement of Dental Implants
Do not disturb the wound. Avoid vigorous rinsing, forceful spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. There may be a small metal healing abutment slightly protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue. This allows the tissue to heal around the abutment so no further incisions have to be made. Occasionally, this abutment can not be placed at the time of the implant being placed, and in those cases the gums are sutured back into place to cover the implant completely.
Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding (your mouth fills rapidly with blood) can be controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues profusely, please call for further instructions.
Some 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.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. You can advance your diet as tolerated and return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.
You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate pain, one or two tablets of Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every 3-4 hours. Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may be taken instead of or in addition to Tylenol. Ibuprofen bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 2-3 tablets may be taken four times daily, not to exceed 3200mg daily for an adult. Consult our practice for individuals under 18.
You may also have been prescribed a stronger pain medication as a backup for severe pain. This prescribed medication should be taken as directed. Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic to them, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. 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.
You will generally be prescribed antibiotics. Please be sure to take the antibiotics as directed until they are gone to help prevent infection. If you develop a reaction or severe stomach issues with the antibiotic, please stop the medication and notify the office.
Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. Gentle warm salt water rinses (one 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, taking care around the area where the implant is placed. Once the tissue has healed, you may also brush the healing abutments. Be gentle initially while brushing the surgical areas.
Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. Keep in mind that you are probably not taking in normal nourishment. This may weaken you and further limit your ability to exercise.
Wearing your Prosthesis
Many times after implant placement, we are able to adjust your partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures to accomadate the healing abutments. It is imperative that no pressure is placed on the newly placed implant and abutment. If it is not able to adjusted, you should not immediately wear the prosthesis until we have seen you after the postoperative appointment. You may also contact your general dentist to have the prosthesis adjusted to prevent interference with the implant.