After Placement of Dental Implants
Home Instructions After Dental Implant Surgery
Following these instructions will promote a comfortable recovery. You should plan to take it easy for the rest of the day following implant surgery. If more than one implant has been placed, you may wish to slow down your activity level for a couple of days. Heavy physical activity should generally be avoided, but otherwise, you may be ready to return to work 1-2 days after the surgery.
SWELLING AND BRUISING
Swelling and bruising often occurs after surgery and are completely normal. Swelling typically increases for the first 3-4 days, and then gradually subsides over the following 3-7 days. Applying cold/ice packs the entire day of your surgery is very helpful to minimize the amount of swelling you will experience. Wear them even if you feel there is little initial swelling. Keep the cold packs over the surgical area for 30 minutes, then chill in freezer for 30 minutes, then re-apply, etc.
Following dental implant surgery you can expect some degree of discomfort. This typically lasts 2-6 days and is much like a crampy tenderness. The degree varies, depending upon the difficulty or extent of surgery. In general, the younger the patient, the less discomfort and shorter the healing period.
Take the medications as directed on the bottle. The medication prescribed should keep you relatively comfortable and is best taken with fluid or food in your stomach. For mild discomfort Tylenol or Advil (ibuprofen) may be used. Some pain medications can cause dizziness; Do not drive. If antibiotics are prescribed they should be taken until the full prescription is used. Women need to be aware that certain antibiotics can decrease the effectiveness of oral contraceptive medications.
There is generally very little bleeding following implant surgery. Please maintain gentle pressure on the damp gauze which we have placed in your mouth, for at least an hour. Typically 1-2 gauze changes are all that is required. Small amounts of continued oozing for 24 hours after surgery is quite normal.
Beginning tomorrow, rinse your mouth every 4-6 hours with warm, slightly salty water (1/2 teaspoon in tall glass of water) for the next two weeks. Begin brushing your teeth the day after surgery, avoiding any areas with stitches. If given Oro-X, use until the bottle is gone (approximately 2 weeks). If the gum appears to open up in any area or if you develop a gumboil in the surgical area, please make an appointment to have your surgeon assess the area.
Most people can begin drinking fluids once at home. Do not wait until the freezing is gone. Start with clear fluids and progress to soup (such as chicken or beef broth) fruit or vegetable juice. The evening of surgery is fine to start milk products such as milkshakes, yogurt, and pudding. You should continue with a soft diet as much as possible. You may wish to avoid spicy foods for several days. Please ensure you get adequate nutrition to aid healing. A vitamin supplement is a good idea.
The implants have been placed in the bone, and the gum sutured over the area to completely cover the implants. It is very important to allow the gum to heal properly during the first two weeks of surgery. The best way to help the gum heal is to avoid wearing a denture over the area of surgery and not to chew any food which would disturb the gum healing. After the first two weeks, you may have a denture modified with a soft liner which may be worn sparingly during the rest of the healing period.
Your sutures may be either self-dissolving or could require removal. Your nurse will advise you.
SMOKING AND ALCOHOL
Smoking has a very bad effect on implant healing and the success of implants. You should avoid smoking and vaping for at least two months after the implants have been placed. Better yet, please quit smoking as it will improve your prospects of long term success. Alcohol may also delay healing and may lead to complications. Please do not drink alcohol for the first 72 hours after surgery.
Your recovery will be followed by either a phone call from one of our nurses or you will be scheduled a follow up appointment with your surgeon. Your nurse will inform you before you leave the office.
If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call our office. After 4 pm our answering service will contact the surgeon on call.