After Placement of Dental Implants

Home Instructions After Dental Implant Surgery

After dental implant surgery, do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. There may or may not be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue depending on your specific surgery. 


Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding (your mouth fills rapidly with blood) can be controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound and changed every 30-45 minutes. As bleeding slows, the gauze can be changed less frequently. Once the bleeding subsides, the gauze can be left out. Bleeding may continue for several hours after your procedure. If bleeding continues profusely, please call for further instructions.


Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling apply an ice bag, or a plastic bag or towel filled with ice, on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously, as much as possible, for the first 36 hours. Keeping your head elevated approximately 30 degrees can also help keep swelling down. 


Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Depending on your procedure, a soft food diet should be maintained for the week following our surgery. You may begin advancing to a more normal diet approximately 6-7 days after surgery as tolerated. 


You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate pain, one or two tablets of 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 four times daily, not to exceed 3200mg daily for an adult. Consult our practice for individuals under 18. These two medications can often times be alternated for better pain management during the day. Often times the pain medication prescribed has Tylenol (Acetaminophen) in it and therefore over the counter Tylenol (Acetaminophen) should be avoided when taking prescribed pain medicine. 

For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed. Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic to them, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should improve through the week but there can be times of increased discomfort through the week and often times at night. If pain persists past one week or is not being controlled, it may require attention and you should call the office or on call doctor. Discomfort can be expected after any surgical procedure, but our goal is pain management in a safe manner through your post op recovery.


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

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. The night of surgery, use the prescribed Peridex Oral Rinse before bed if bleeding has subsided. 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 may also (one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) be used 4-5 times a day as well, especially after meals. Brush your teeth normally but try to avoid the surgical site. The implant healing abutment can be brushed like a tooth often after the first week of healing. Be gentle initially while brushing around the surgical areas.


Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. Keep in mind that you are probably not taking in normal nourishment. This may weaken you and further limit your ability to exercise.

Wearing your Prosthesis

Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures, often can be used immediately after surgery depending on your treatment unless otherwise directed. 

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