Home Care After Dental Implant Surgery

Do not disturb the dental implant wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. There may be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue. Try not to bite on this metal piece. Micro movement of the dental implant can cause the dental implant to not heal or to fail.

Bleeding

Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding may be controlled by first rinsing with warm diluted salt water and then placing a gauze pad over the area and biting firmly for 30 minutes. Repeat if necessary. Often times the gauze will act as a wick and be blood tinged or soaked when removed from the mouth. This wicking can last for 24 hrs. or more. This is not unusual and does not constitute active bleeding. If bleeding is dripping or welling up continue biting on a moistened tea bag for 30 minutes. The tannic acid in the tea bag helps to form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels. To help minimize further bleeding, do not become excited, sit upright, use ice on the face over the surgery site(s) and avoid exercise. If bleeding does not subside, call our office for further instructions. If after hours or the weekend, call the office and follow the promtps to reach the doctor on call for further instructions.

Swelling

Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag, or a plastic bag/towel filled with ice on the cheek in the area(s) of surgery. Apply the ice continuously, as often as possible, for the first 24 hours. Maximum swelling can occur on 3rd-4th day after surgery then it will start decreasing. Swelling may be asymetrical and more on one side versus another side depending on the amount of surgery done.

Diet

Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of oral surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed. Some food options were given to you in the printed postoperative instructions

Pain

For moderate pain following implant surgery, Ibuprofen, (Motrin or Advil) two to four 200 mg tablets may be taken every six to eight hours as needed. Do not take Ibuprofen, (Motrin or Advil), Naprosyn or Aspirin if you are taking Coumadin, Warfarin, Pradaxa, or any other blood thinner as this could cause increased bleeding. Some patients will only need Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol for pain from surgery.

For severe pain, take the pain medication prescribed as directed. The prescribed pain medicine will make you groggy and will slow down your reflexes. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery while taking narcotic pain medication. Avoid alcoholic beverages or other sedatives while taking narcotics, as the combination can be dangerous and life threatening. Pain or discomfort following oral surgery should peak on third to fourth day after surgery and then start to subside. Pain is subjective and patients will respond differently to pain from a procedure. Most prescribed narcotic pain medication has Acetaminophen (Tylenol) mixed in with the narcotic. DO NOT take additional Tylenol with the prescribed medication. You can take Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or Naprosyn simultaneously with taking the prescribed narcotic. This will be reviewed with your and the driver or person who brought you to the office at the time of discharge.

Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take them.

Antibiotics

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

Oral Hygiene

Mouth cleanliness is essential to good healing. Clean your mouth thoroughly after each meal beginning the day after surgery. Brush your teeth as best you can. Rinse with warm salt water (one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) 3-4 times per day. Continue this procedure until healing is complete. A clean wound heals better and faster.

Activity

Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following oral and maxillofacial 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 should be used only as directed after your oral and maxillofacial surgery. This was reviewed with you and/or your ride the day of surgery and if any questions, please call our office.