The following information applies when dental implants have been placed to replace missing natural teeth.
Do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. There will often be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed. Try to avoid chewing directly on the area or areas where the implant(s) was placed until at least your post-operative
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: 3 tablets may be taken every6 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.
If prescribed antibiotics, be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection.
Do not rinse or spit on the day of your surgery. This tends to disturb the blood clot, open the wound and can prolong bleeding and slow healing. You should not have a significant amount of blood in your mouth. Saliva can be swallowed, even if slightly blood tinged.
Keeping your mouth clean after surgery is essential to help reduce the risk of infection. Start salt water rinses the day following your procedure. Use 1/2 teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8 ounce glass of warm water and gently rinse. Do this three times daily. We may also prescribe an antibiotic rinse (Peridex). This rinse should be used 3 times daily, starting the day following surgery. Do not eat or drink or rinse your mouth after using the medicated rinse. Using this rinse more than three times a day will cause staining of your teeth.
DO NOT SMOKE for at least two weeks following surgery. As discussed at your consultation, smoking dramatically increases the risk of implant failure.
Wearing Your Prosthesis or Nightguards
Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures should not be used immediately after surgery until your post-operative appointment unless specifically instructed otherwise. Please contact the office if there is any question. If you have a temporary “flipper” to wear do not place it until the numbness in the area is gone. When it is placed it should not touch the gums in the area of the surgery. If it does, this can cause ulceration of the wound edges and breakdown of the suture margins. If you have any questions about the fit of your flipper, partial or complete denture, do not wear it until our general dentist or our office can see you.
Other Post-Operative Considerations
You will not see the actual implants in your mouth as the gums cover the area. This is good. Do not stretch your lip daily to inspect the area. This can cause wound breakdown. In many instances a healing cap or abutment was placed over the implant. This will look silver or pink and will be emerging through the gums. Be very cautious not to eat or chew on these temporary implant covers as it will place undue movement on the implants below and can cause implant failure.
If you have any questions about your progress, please call the office.