Learn How to Properly Care for Your Dental Implants Post Surgery

After dental implant surgery or oral grafting procedures, certain steps must be followed to minimize postoperative discomfort and improve surgical outcomes.

Please read and follow the instructions carefully.

Do not disturb the 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 if an implant was placed or there may be a temporary/dissolvable collagen plug held in place by a dissolvable suture and special glue.

Bleeding

Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding (your mouth fills up rapidly with blood) is rare and can be controlled by biting on a folded gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 45 minutes and repeating as needed. If bleeding continues, please call for further instructions.

Swelling

Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply a plastic bag or towel filled with ice on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice as often as possible, for the first 12-24 hours.

Diet

Drink plenty of fluids, avoid hot liquids or food until the numbness has subsided to keep from scalding yourself. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Unless otherwise directed, return to a normal diet as soon as possible.

Pain

You should begin taking your prescription pain medication immediately after surgery and before you feel the local anesthetic is wearing off.

For severe pain, take the pain medication as prescribed (usually every 4-6 hours). The prescribed pain medicine may make you groggy and will slow down your reflexes. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. If pain persists or increases after 36 hours, it may require attention and you should call the office.

For moderate pain, over the counter Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil), can be effective in controlling pain.  600mg (3 over the counter tablets of 200mg each) is equivalent to prescription strength Motrin. This dosage can be taken every 6 hours.

Some patients find that 600mg of Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) works well in conjunction with their prescribed narcotic pain medication.   It is important to remember that whenever taking any pain medication, it is best to take them with some food to help avoid an upset stomach.

Antibiotics

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. The day after surgery, the Peridex should be used twice daily, after routine tooth brushing. Be sure to rinse for 2 minutes then spit it out. 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.

Physical Activity

Keep physical activities to a minimum for 2 days following surgery. If, when exercising, throbbing or bleeding occurs, you should discontinue exercising. 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

Temporary teeth, partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures should be worn as little as possible after surgery especially for at least 10 days unless specifically discussed or instructed otherwise with your doctor prior to your surgery.

Smoking

Smoking has been proven to delay and retard intraoral wound healing. Please refrain from smoking for at least 2 weeks after oral surgery.

Finally

Dissolvable sutures are typically placed in the area of surgery to minimize postoperative bleeding and to help healing.  They will dissolve or become dislodged sometime between 2-14 days. 

The temporary/dissolvable collagen plug placed over the socket graft will dissolve or become dislodged sometime between 2-14 days.  When this happens, there is no cause for alarm.  It is also not unusual for there to be some graft particles to come loose. The important portion of the graft is secure below the gums.  

For other questions or concerns, please call our office.

For more helpful tips, check out the “Recovering from Dental Implant Surgery” guide.