After Placement of Dental Implants
Do not disturb the wound. 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 procedure was done as a single stage procedure. If the gingival tissue was closed over the implant then it is a two stage procedure requiring an uncovering procedure after a specified length of time for healing depending on what procedure was done.
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 – 45 minutes. Tea bags, which contain tannic acid, are helpful to control bleeding by simply biting down on 2 dry tea bags for 30 – 45 minutes. Do not spit, rinse, or use straw as this will create more bleeding. If bleeding continuous, please the call the office for further instructions.
Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag, bag of frozen vegetables, or a plastic zip lock bag, or towel filled with ice on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice intermittently 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off, as much as possible, for the first 12 – 24 hours after surgery.
Drink plenty of clear, non acidic fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Spicy foods should be avoided for 10 days or more after surgery. A return to fairly normal routine diet in 7 – 10 days is usually possible, however, you should not chew directly over the implant site for 2 months.
You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate pain, 1 or 2 Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every 3-4 hours. Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may be taken instead of Tylenol. Ibuprofen, bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 2-3 tablets may be taken every 3-4 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.
Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection.
Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. The night of surgery,if it was prescribed, use the Peridex Oral Rinse before bed. The day after surgery, the Peridex should be used twice daily, after breakfast and before bed. Be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds then spit it out. Warm salt water rinses (teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) should be used at least 4-5 times a day, as well, especially after meals. Brushing your teeth around the healing abutments is no problem but stay about a tooth away from the healing abutments for about 2 weeks. After that you can gently brush the healing abutments with a SOFT toothbrush.Running the bristles under hot water will soften them. Be gentle initially with brushing the surgical areas.
Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you are considering exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. Keep in mind that you are probably not taking normal nourishment. This may weaken you and further limit your ability to exercise.
Wearing Your Prosthesis
Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures can usually be used immediately after surgery. If the occassion allows it is best to leave the appiances out when you eat so as not to bang them against the abutments. If the denture prosthesis is causing soreness or irritation then they should be immediately removed. Call your doctor to have it adjusted.