After Placement of Dental Implants
Do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. In some cases there be a metal healing cap protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue.
Some bleeding or oozing on the day of surgery is normal. Holding ice cold fluids, such as ice water or iced tea, over the surgical site will help constrict blood vessels and slow or stop bleeding. If this is insufficient, gauze pads or moist cool tea bags may be placed over the surgical site and GENTLE pressure applied. Generally you want to AVOID heavy pressure in bone graft or implant sites as this may displace graft particles, cause loss of sutures, or allow incisions to open. When bleeding has stopped, do not disturb the area.
Some pain or discomfort is expected following surgery. Medication has been prescribed that should provide relief. You should start this medication before the anesthetic wears off. Take it as directed, with food or fluids. DO NOT attempt to drive, operate hazardous machinery, or participate in activity that requires physical effort or mental alertness while taking this medication. Use of low-dose Ibuprofen or Tylenol between the prescription pain medication will increase your comfort and may be used when the stronger pain pill is no longer needed.
Some swelling is expected following surgery. Swelling will reach its maximum 1-2 days after surgery and then start to go down after that. Use of an ice bag or a wet and nearly frozen wash cloth over the cheek in the surgical area will help minimize swelling. Apply the ice pack on and then off for 15-30 minutes at a time for the first 1-2 days after surgery. Beginning 2 days after surgery, the use of moist heat packs or hot wet wash cloths and warm salt water for soaking in the mouth will help resolve swelling and jaw stiffness. Apply heat for 15-30 minutes at a time, at least3-4 times daily until to have returned to normal.
Avoid nausea by treating your system gently. DO NOT take medication on an empty stomach. Begin taking fluids or bland soft foods as soon as possible. Start with small quantities, a little at a time. Consume whatever is generally agreeable to you. Do not take medication on an empty stomach and do not take several different medications all at once. Spread them out over time so as to not upset your stomach. If a medication is causing a problem, this will help sort out which medication is responsible. If nausea develops and persists you may need to suspend all medication or be prescribed special medication to help control the problem.
Consume whatever generally is agreeable to you.To AVOID biting or chewing the tongue and lips, do not try to chew solid food until feeling has returned to the area. Avoid nuts, crackers, and chips. DO NOT use straws. Otherwise there are no dietary restrictions. However, your jaws may be stiff, normal opening may be reduced, and chewing may be uncomfortable. In this case be sure to get adequate amounts of fluids and soft food to ensure good nutrition and hydration. DO NOT CHEW ANY SOLID FOOD IN THE AREA OF THE GRAFT OR IMPLANT UNTIL HEALING IS COMPLETE.
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, use the prescribed 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 clear your mouth by rolling your head from side to side, and then lean over the sink and let the fluid fall out of your mouth. 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 and the healing abutments is no problem. Be gentle initially with brushing the surgical areas. Do not use water picks or oral irrigation devices until the use is approved by the doctor.
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:
DO NOT chew solid food in the area of the graft as this may displace the graft and cause incisions to open. The graft material could be lost. If a one stage implant is placed, do not attempt to use it as a tooth because excess chewing force could cause the implant to not heal, to loosen, and be lost early.
DO NOT rinse vigorously, spit, gargle, use a straw, or create commotion near the surgical site. These activities may cause bleeding to start or may cause loss of graft particles and sutures in the surgical area. You may clear your mouth of blood or other unpleasant tastes by taking a mouth full of ice water or mouthwash, rolling your head from side to side, and then lean over the sink letting the fluid fall out of your mouth.
DO NOT smoke or use smokeless tobacco. These activities may cause bleeding to start, may cause loss of blood clots, and will adversely affect the healing. They may also contribute to infection or poor healing in the surgery sites.
Take your prescribed medicine as directed. Also continue any other medication your physician may have prescribed. Try not to take medication all at one time. This may upset your stomach. If you have had an IV Sedation or General Anesthesia, or are taking strong pain medication do not drive or operate hazardous equipment or engage in activities that require physical stress or mental alertness for at least 24 hours after surgery.
You may brush and floss your teeth. Minimize the amount of toothpaste you use and try not to swish, rinse, and spit. You may clear your mouth by taking a mouthful of water or mouthwash, rolling your head from side to side, and then lean over the sink and let the fluid fall out of your mouth. Brush your tongue also.
Have someone stay with you following surgery to help you with your needs. Do not get up too quickly or you may experience dizziness or fainting spells. While reclining after your surgery, cover your pillow with a towel. If you drool or ooze, the clean-up will be easier. If you are inactive following surgery, it is important to take frequent deep breaths and to passively exercise your legs.
CALL THE OFFICE IF:
1. You have any questions or problems.
2. Uncontrollable bleeding occurs.
3. You experience discomfort that is not relieved by your medication.
4. Swelling develops or increases later than 2 or 3 days after surgery.
5. You develop an elevated temperature.
6. You think you are having an adverse reaction to any prescribed medication.