AFTER DENTAL IMPLANT SURGERY
A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following implant surgery. Slight oozing or blood-tinged saliva is not uncommon for the first 12 to 24 hours. You may be asked to keep a gauze pad over the surgical site with firm biting pressure for one (1) hour. After this time, remove and discard the gauze pad. It does not need to be replaced unless bleeding continues or recurs. If bleeding does not subside, please call the office for further instructions.
Swelling is normally expected after most surgical procedures and is usually proportional to the extent of surgery performed. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes and sides of the face is not uncommon. This is the body’s normal and healthy reaction to surgery. Most swelling will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until 48 to 72 hours post-operatively. However, swelling and discomfort may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. Ice packs should be applied to the side of the face over the area where the implant surgery was performed for the first 24 to 48 hours. Ice packs should be left on for 30 minutes and then left off for 30 minutes while awake. After 48 hours ice has no beneficial effect. Instead, the application of heat may be helpful in reducing the size of swelling more quickly.
Take the prescribed pain medication before you begin to feel discomfort. This usually coincides with the start of the local anesthetic wearing off. Taking pain medication on an empty stomach may cause nausea, so it is recommended to take the pills with food or drink. Pain medication may make you groggy and slow down your reflexes. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery while medicated. It is also best to avoid alcoholic beverages. Aspirin or other over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin) may be used when appropriate.
Antibiotics may be prescribed for certain patients after implant surgery to help prevent infection. If you have been placed on an antibiotic, take the tablets or liquid as directed until gone. Discontinue antibiotic use in the event of a rash or any other unfavorable reaction, and notify our office immediately.
It is best to wait until after the local anesthetic has completely worn off before beginning to eat. You may eat anything soft and cool the first day by chewing away form the surgical site. Do not drink hot fluids or eat hot food the first day. Avoid hard, crunchy foods that may harm the area. It’s best to progress to more solid foods and return to your normal diet as soon as possible.
Good oral hygiene is essential for good healing. Our doctors may prescribe an antibiotic mouth rise (Peridex) to begin the night of surgery and continue as directed on the label. Begin warm salt-water rinses (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water) the day after surgery, and rinse four to five times a day, especially after meals. Continue to brush your teeth as best you can – remembering to be careful around the surgical site. There may be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gum tissue in the area of the implant surgery. Do not use an electric toothbrush to brush the healing abutment.
You will most likely have sutures in the area of the implant surgery. Our doctors will tell you if your sutures are dissolvable or if you will need to have them removed. Even if your sutures are dissolvable, a follow-up appointment seven to ten days after the procedure may still be scheduled to check your healing.
WEARING YOUR PROSTHESIS
You may be able to wear your removable dental prosthesis (partial denture, full denture, or flipper) immediately after your implant surgery provided it was adjusted at the time of your procedure by our surgeons or afterward by your dentist. Please check with our doctors about your personal needs concerning wearing your removable prosthesis.
Please notify the office if you have any questions or concerns.