After Dental Implant Surgery
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.
PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS: It is essential that you get something soft and cold to eat or drink immediately after the surgery. Start the pain medication AFTER you get something to eat or drink but BEFORE the pain sets in. Start your next dose of antibiotics a couple hours after you start taking the pain medication.
For moderate pain, 1 or 2 Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every 3-4 hours. Ibuprofen (Advil, 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.
EATING: Drink plenty of fluids. Soft cold foods are best for the first 72 hours following surgery. However, do not eat any foods with small seeds, for example popcorn, nuts or berries. Make sure to AVOID ANY BITING ON THE SIDE OF THE IMPLANT(s). Avoid chewing on that side for as long as possible. Avoid using any straws for a few weeks following the procedure.
GAUZE PACKS: You will have gauze in your mouth following surgery. Take the gauze out when you eat and replace with new gauze after. The gauze will help control the bleeding after the surgery. Apply firm pressure by biting down on the gauze. Place a couple pieces of the gauze folded up on the surgical site and bite down on it. Keep an eye on the gauze and replace when it becomes dark, red and saturated. It is normal to experience some bleeding following surgery throughout the first 24 hours after surgery, however there should be a trend that it will taper down. If bleeding continues after that, contact our office. Be sure to have the gauze removed before you go to sleep for the night.
MOIST HEAT: Apply warm moist heat to the OUTSIDE cheek area where the Implant(s) was placed. This will help provide better blood supply to the surgical site. Use a warm, damp cloth and continue to heat in the microwave or use a heating pad with a moist cloth over that.
SWELLING: It is normal following surgery for swelling to occur. It takes about 3 days for surgical swelling to peak. After 3 days the swelling should slowly decrease. Remember the use of warm moist heat will promote more swelling than average but will help with the implant area. Swelling that increases after the fourth day of surgery should immediately be brought to the attention of our office.
BE SURE TO DO GENTLE RINSING SO THE BONE GRAFTING ISN’T DISTURED.
Warm Salt Water: Very gentle warm salt water rinsing is important to start the day after surgery. Mix just a little bit of warm water and some table salt to rinse around in your mouth for 30 seconds to 1 minute and then spit out. Do this as frequently as you can throughout the day (10-20 times a day if you can). Make sure to rinse after any meals or snacks throughout the day. The more rinsing you do, the cleaner the areas will be and help with the healing.
Peridex Rinse: We have prescribed you an antibiotic rinse to start using prior to surgery. Continue using again 1 day after surgery, using twice a day (once after lunch time and once right before bed). Try to use this rinse right before bed to ensure it stays on the tissue. Do not eat or drink anything 2 hours after you use the rinse.
After you return for your post-op appointment and are given further instructions, you still need to continue using the Peridex rinse however, you don’t need to fully rinse with it. Just apply some on a q-tip and dab around the implant area. Continue doing this around the implant area(s)
TOOTH BRUSHING: You may brush your teeth, but avoid the surgical areas until you return for a follow up appointment in the office. After that, you should brush on the surgical areas to help with the healing and keeping the areas clean.
SMOKING: Smoking should be avoided after having implant surgery to help insure the success of the implant.
SUTURES: A variety of sutures may have been used as a part of your treatment. These sutures will either dissolve on their own or be removed at the appropriate post-operative appointment. The sutures that need to be removed are usually done at the 2nd or 3rd post-operative appointment.
ABUTMENT: You may have had a healing abutment or direct abutment placed on top of the implant. This is the piece you can see in your mouth or can feel with your tongue. *AVOID BITING ON THIS AREA OR USING THESE FOR CHEWING UNTIL DR. MCCOMBS INSTRUCTS YOU TO DO SO. Not following this guideline could cause failure and loss of the implant and any graft material.
BONE GRAFTING: In addition to the implant(s), you may have had some grafting done. You may experience some free or loose particles in your mouth during the post-operative and healing period. In general, this is normal to occur and is not a problem.
FLIPPER: If we haven’t placed the flipper at the time of surgery, don’t put the flipper in until we instruct you to do so.
If we have placed the flipper, leave it in until morning. Then carefully remove it, rinse with warm salt water and Peridex and put the flipper back in. Remove the flipper before you rinse each time throughout the day and then put the flipper back in place. (If you don’t have a flipper, the above is not applicable).
DENTURES: Partial dentures or full dentures can be used immediately after surgery when properly adjusted. However you may be a patient that has been instructed to not wear the denture or partial. If that be the case, do not place until instructed otherwise by our office staff.
Keep physical activity to a minimum following surgery. If you are considering exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If it does, discontinue exercise. Be sure to get plenty of nutrition including being properly hydrated.
It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have questions about your progress, please call the office. Please try to call during office hours; however a 24-hour answering service is available for after hours contact with a doctor. The after hours telephone number is (253) 770-1000.