Caring for Your Implant
After you've had dental implant surgery, it is important that you follow a series of instructions in order to promote the best possible healing. First and foremost, avoid disturbing the wound, and to do this, you shouldn't rinse, spit, or touch the wound for the first 24 hours after surgery.
It is perfectly normal to experience bleeding and pink or red-colored saliva for the first 24 hours following your surgery. If you are experiencing excessive bleeding where your mouth fills up quickly with blood, you can work to control it by biting down on a gauze pad that is placed directly onto the wound. Do this for 30 minutes, and if severe bleeding continues, please call our office for further guidance.
Swelling is also common after your dental implant surgery. To minimize swelling, you can apply an ice pack onto the cheek outside the area where you had your surgery. Do this as much as possible within the first 24 hours. It can also be helpful to lay with your head elevated for the first three days in order to further reduce swelling.
About four hours after your surgery, you can begin to take your pain medications. Staying ahead of the pain is important, so you should take your first dose before the local anesthetic has worn off. If you are experiencing moderate pain, Tylenol can be used every 3–4 hours, or if you prefer, you can take ibuprofen every 4–6 hours.
If you are experiencing severe pain, use your prescribed medications as directed. Never take more than recommended, and always follow the instructions outlined by your surgeon.
Diet and Nutrition
Following your surgery, it is important to drink plenty of fluids, but avoid hot liquids. Soft foods should be consumed immediately following surgery, and after the first day, you can begin to return to your normal diet unless your surgeon instructs you otherwise.
Proper oral hygiene is crucial for healing. After your surgery, be sure to use the oral rinse that has been prescribed to you, and start using this rinse twice daily the day following your procedure. Swish with the rinse for at least 30 seconds. You can also use warm salt water rinses several times a day, especially after eating. While you can brush your teeth around the abutments as they heal, be sure to be gentle.
Immediately following surgery, you should plan to rest and keep physical activity at a minimum. If you exercise, bleeding and throbbing may occur. You should also remember that you probably are not getting adequate nourishment throughout your recovery, so trying to exercise could even be dangerous.
Wearing Your Prosthesis
You should avoid wearing your dentures or flippers right after your surgery, and keep them out of your mouth for at least 10 days post-op. Your surgeon will specify exactly when it is safe to begin wearing these appliances again.