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 protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue.
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. Bleeding normally will begin to slow over the first 6-8 hours. If bleeding continues please call for further instructions.
Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. Swelling may be minimized by the use of ice packs and elevation of the head. Ice packs can be made by placing a zip-loc bag within a second zip-loc bag and filling the inner bag with ice. Some patients prefer to use frozen vegetables or commercial gel packs. In any event, the ice packs should be applied to the sides of the face where surgery was performed. The ice packs should be left on for 45-50 minutes every hour. It is important to allow the skin to warm to room temperature every hour to avoid the risk of a thermal burn. After 36 hours, ice has no beneficial effect. If swelling persists on the fourth post-operative day, heat (either moist or dry) may be applied to the face to help resolve the swelling. The heat is applied in a similar method as the ice packs. If swelling or jaw stiffness has persisted for several days, there is no cause for alarm. This is a normal reaction to surgery.
We recommend that you stay on clear liquids until the heavy bleeding subsides. It is important that you keep hydrated and drink fluids at least every hour. Once the bleeding has slowed down you may resume drinking full liquids (fluids with cream and milk) or begin a soft diet. Make sure that all chewing is away from the surgical sites. With dental implants it is especially important not to function or chew on the implants. Very small movements can cause the body to react to the implant and form scar tissue around it instead of the normal bone bond to the implant. This movement can be caused by chewing or from putting continual force on the implant with the tongue. Your doctor may ask you to modify your diet differently to account for your individual needs. Refer to the section on suggested diet instructions at the end of the brochure.
Your doctor and surgery staff will review your post-operative pain treatment with you and/or your family members after your surgery. If you have any questions about how to take the medications prescribed, please call the office for clarification. The prescribed pain medicine will make you groggy and will slow down your reflexes. If applicable, do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Since pain medication, especially in the post-anesthetic patient, can make you more susceptible to light-headedness and fainting with positional movement, we recommend you are assisted with all ambulation the first day of surgery. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. If pain persists and you do not see improvement of your symptoms, it may require attention and you should call the office.
In order to minimize your chance of infection and implant loss, most procedures which result in implant placement with be accompanied by antibiotic therapy. If the doctor prescribes antibiotics as part of your care regime, it is important you take the medication on the correct time frame and be sure to take the entire prescription.
Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. Brushing of your teeth can resume the night of surgery but do not brush the surgical area. 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. The use of the salt water rinses should begin 24 hours after your surgery. You may begin brushing the surgical site if instructed to do so after your one-week follow-up visit.
Use of Antibiotic mouth rinse
The night of surgery, use the prescribed antibiotic Oral Rinse before bed, if instructed to do so by your care provider. The day after surgery, the antibiotic mouth rinse should be used twice daily, after breakfast and before bed. We recommend that you saturate a cotton ball with the rinse and gently blot the surgical site and allow the solution to bath the wound site. Although the excess solution can be spit out, no rinsing should follow this application for at least 30 minutes, In order to keep the staining of your other teeth to a minimum we recommend that you use this blotting technique rather than full mouth rinsing. The full mouth rinsing should only be the morning of your surgery and as instructed by your doctor.
Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you are considering exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. It is best to limit your activities on the day of your surgery. In most cases, you will be able to resume normal activity the day after you no longer require the prescribed pain medication.
Wearing your Prosthesis
Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures should not be used immediately after surgery and should be worn only after they have been modified or checked by your surgical team. These appliances should be considered esthetic appliances only. Therefore, no chewing should take place over the implant site or on an appliance that is covering an implant site for the first 2 to 3 months after your surgery. If you have questions about this issue please discuss it with you doctor.