Following dental implant surgery, it is important to avoid disturbing the wound. On the day of your procedure, avoid over-aggressive manipulation of the tissues.
It is very normal to experience some minor bleeding or red saliva for the first 24 hours following your surgery. If you have excessive bleeding, bite down on a piece of gauze for half an hour. Ensure that the gauze pad is placed directly over the incision site. If bleeding persists or cannot be controlled, contact our office.
Swelling is a normal occurrence after any kind of surgery. The best way to control swelling is by applying ice to the side of the face where the implants have been placed. For the first 36 hours after surgery, use ice consistently while you are awake and keep your head elevated when possible. Swelling will peak in 2-3 days and then begin to subside gradually. After 72 hours, discontinue the icing and apply a heat pack or warm washcloth with gentle massage 3-4 times daily to help facilitate swelling reduction.
Following the placement of dental implants, you will want to get plenty of fluid intake. On the day of surgery, stick to soft foods and liquids, then advance to a normal diet as soon as you feel comfortable doing so. After surgery, you may have a small visible metal healing cap connected to your implant(s) that protrudes slightly through the gum tissue. If present, it is very important not to chew directly on this healing cap for several months. We do recommend that you gently brush and clean this cap daily to keep it and the surrounding tissues clean.
It is recommended to begin any prescribed pain medications prior to your numbing medicine wearing off.
If you experience mild to moderate pain, you may take 1-2 tablets of Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol every 6 hours. Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) may also be taken to help control not only pain, but also swelling and inflammation. Ibuprofen generally comes in 200mg tablets and may be taken in a 600mg dosage every 6 hours, or an 800mg dosage every 8 hours.
For more severe pain, take narcotic pain medications if prescribed by your surgeon and use them as directed. Note that narcotic pain medications can cause you to feel groggy, and they may also slow your reflexes. When taking narcotic pain medicines, avoid driving, operating machinery, and drinking alcohol. Narcotics prescribed by your doctor may also contain Tylenol, and it is important to not take any additional Tylenol if you are regularly taking this medication. In contrast, Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) does not contain any Tylenol and is safe to take alongside any narcotic.
Oftentimes, sutures around dental implants will be self-dissolving. If non-dissolving sutures are used, your surgeon will discuss this with you prior to discharge and arrange a follow-up visit for removal. This is generally done 7-14 days following surgery. This process takes just a few minutes, does not require anesthesia, and does not cause any pain or discomfort.
Antibiotics can help prevent infection around your implant(s) and will likely be prescribed following surgery. Please take them as directed. Do not continue using antibiotics in the event of a rash or other adverse reaction. Contact the office if you have any questions.
Good oral hygiene is an important part of the healing process. On the night of your surgery, use the Peridex Oral Rinse before bed, if prescribed. The day after surgery, use Peridex twice daily, after breakfast and before bed. Rinse for at least 30 seconds, then spit it out. Warm salt water rinses (teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) can also be used 2-3 times a day, especially after meals.
Brush your teeth and the healing caps like normal. Be gentle when brushing the surgical areas.
The day after your surgery, we advise keeping physical activity to a minimum. Physical activity may result in bleeding or throbbing. Following surgery, you may not have your normal level of nourishment, and exertion may weaken you or cause lightheadedness.