After Placement of Dental Implants

Do not disturb the wound after the placement of dental implants. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. There will be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue if the implant was placed in a single stage procedure.

Bleeding

There is usually minimal bleeding after implant surgery. Slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva is not uncommon. It is normal to experience blood-tinged saliva a few days after surgery, as well as slight oozing after eating or brushing your teeth. To resolve this, we recommend warm salt water rinses. If bleeding does not subside, call for further instructions.

Swelling

The swelling that is normally expected is usually proportional to the surgery involved. This is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and eventual repair. Unless you have had a bone graft or sinus lift, patients experience minimal swelling after this procedure.

The swelling will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until two to three days post-operatively. However, the swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. A plastic bag filled with ice, frozen peas/corn, or a gel pack should be applied to the side of the face where surgery was performed. The ice packs should be used at 20 minute intervals, (20 minutes on and 20 minutes off). 48 hours following surgery, the application of moist heat to the side of the face is beneficial in reducing the stiffness of the jaw.

Pain

The prescribed pain medicine will make you groggy and will slow down your reflexes. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. We also recommend taking ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) two 200 mg. tablets every 4-6 hours. If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call the office.

Diet

Since local anesthetic was used, a liquid diet is recommended after this procedure.

Foods to eat the first day: yogurt, ice cream, pudding, applesauce, mashed potatoes, Ensure/Boost liquid meal.

Foods to eat the next day: normal diet, just avoid chewing on the surgical site and do not eat sharp chips, nuts or popcorn.

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. The day after surgery, the Peridex should be used three times daily, after meals. Be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds then spit it out. Warm salt-water rinses (one half-teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) should be alternated at least three to four times a day. You may start gently brushing on the healing abutment(s) three days after the surgery to prevent plaque build up.

Remember: a clean mouth heals better and faster.

Activity

Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. Unless you had a bone graft or sinus lift, you can usually resume normal activities the next day.

Sutures

Our surgeons usually uses the dissolvable type of sutures/stitches that fall out between 5-7 days after surgery. Sutures are placed in the area of surgery to minimize post-operative bleeding and to help healing. Sometimes they become dislodged. This is no cause for alarm–just remove the suture from your mouth and discard it. If we used a type that needs to be removed, we will schedule you an appointment.

Antibiotics

Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection.

Nausea & Vomiting

In the event of nausea and/or vomiting following surgery, do not take anything by mouth for at least an hour including the prescribed medicine. Try sipping slowly over a 15 minute period on some ginger ale or another clear soda. When the nausea subsides, you can begin taking solid foods and the prescribed medicine.

Wearing Your Prosthesis

Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures should not be used immediately after surgery and for at least ten days. This was discussed in the preoperative consultation.