After Dental Implant Surgery
Please do not disturb the wound. Avoid spitting or touching the wound on the day of surgery. In many cases, there will be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue.
Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal during the first day or two after surgery. Excessive bleeding (your mouth fills up rapidly with blood) can be controlled by biting on a moistened gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30-60 minutes.
If bleeding continues, create firm direct pressure by biting on a moistened tea bag placed over the surgical site for 30-60 minutes. Tea has tannic acid which is an astringent. Direct pressure and tannic acid will constrict blood vessels and help to stop the bleeding. If active bleeding persists please call our office for further instructions.
Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. Immediate application of ice to the face near the area of surgery will help to minimize swelling and bruising. Use an ice bag or sealed plastic bag filled with ice as much as possible during the first 12-24 hours after surgery while awake. Ice is helpful only during the first 72 hours after surgery.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids and hot food on the day of surgery. Liquids and soft food should be consumed on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.
Please avoid chewing on the area where the implants were placed. Creating pressure or chewing on the implant sites during the three to six-month healing period can interfere with implant integration, compromising the outcome or resulting in implant failure.
You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For mild to moderate pain, 1 or 2 Tylenol 325 mg tablets may be taken every 4 hours. Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may be taken instead of Tylenol.
Ibuprofen, bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets and may be taken in the following doses: two 200mg tablets may be taken every 4 hours, three 200mg tablets may be taken every 6 hours, or four 200mg tablets may be taken every 8 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. Please see our General Post-operative Care Instructions for more detailed information regarding pain management.
Much post-operative pain medications such as Tylenol #3, Percocet, and Vicodin contain narcotics. These medications can make you dizzy, sleepy, impair coordination and judgment. If you are taking narcotic pain medication you should remain at home. Do not operate complex equipment (such as a lawnmower), drive a car, or make important decisions while taking narcotic pain medication.
Good oral hygiene is essential for good healing. On the night of surgery uses the prescribed Peridex (chlorhexidine) Oral Rinse before bed if there is no active bleeding.
The day after surgery Peridex should be used twice daily after breakfast and before going to bed at night; rinse for at least 60 seconds then spit out after brushing.
Please see the label on the bottle for full instructions. Warm salt water rinses (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water) should be used at least 4-5 times a day, especially after meals. Keeping your mouth clean by brushing and flossing your teeth is important.
Start brushing your teeth on the evening of surgery or the first day after surgery. Be very gentle with brushing near the surgical areas.
It is generally best to avoid exercise or strenuous exertion until pain and swelling resolve. If you experience throbbing or aching at the surgical sites while exercising you should discontinue exercising, wait a day or two, then try again. Keep in mind that you are probably not taking normal nourishment; this may weaken you and further limit your ability to exercise.
It is best to walk, move about and/or sit in a chair. Short naps in bed during the day are acceptable. Lying in bed for a prolonged period of time during the day is not healthy, it will only slow recovery and enhance fatigue. You will feel stronger and better faster if you get your body moving.
Smoking increases the risk for implant failure by approximately ten percent. Please discontinue smoking if at all possible. Try to avoid smoking for at least the first two weeks after surgery. Excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages can also interfere with implant healing. Please avoid drinking alcoholic beverages for the first week after surgery.
Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection.
If there is a healing abutment or temporary crown on the implant it must be kept clean.
Once the tissues are sufficiently healed (usually in 10-14 days), the metal healing abutment or crown should be brushed with a soft-bristle toothbrush and toothpaste gently but thoroughly two to three times a day just like a tooth. Until that time it must be kept clean with the Peridex rinse.
Wearing Your Prosthesis
We understand how important it is for our patients to be able to wear their temporary teeth as soon as possible after surgery. All removable appliances including partial dentures, flippers, and full dentures must be checked for proper fit by Dr. Turesky before they are worn.
These appliances can transmit pressure to the implant site which can interfere with implant healing and result in implant failure.
In some cases, it may be necessary to go without wearing the temporary teeth for a few days until swelling resolves and some healing takes place.
In most cases, partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures should be used only for cosmetic purposes, not for chewing. They should be worn only in public when required and removed in the privacy of your own home.
Please review our General Post-Operative Care Instructions for additional helpful information.