Post-operative Instructions Following
Dental Implant Surgery
After dental implant surgery, it is important to carefully follow all post-operative instructions and take all medications as instructed. After a dental implant has been placed, in most cases there will be a small metal cylinder (healing abutment) protruding through the gums. Be careful and avoid traumatizing or chewing directly on this area. There may also be sutures; take care not to disturb these. It is very important to take your antibiotics and use your prescription mouth rinse starting the day of surgery.
On rare occasion, the small metal cylinder (healing abutment) may loosen. The dental implant itself is generally fine, but it is important not to swallow the healing abutment. Save the healing abutment. It is not an emergency, but give our office a call at 913-451-7680.
Immediately Following Surgery
The gauze pack should be kept in place with firm pressure over the area where the dental implant was placed. Remove the pack after 30 minutes. If there is continued bleeding, replace with new gauze and bite firmly again. Avoid vigorous mouth rinsing or chewing in the areas of the implant. This may cause increased bleeding or the blood clot to dislodge.
A liquid or soft diet is recommended for the first 24 hours after dental implant surgery. After 24 hours, you may advance your diet, but take care to avoid ANY chewing directly on the implant site. Avoid eating hard or crunchy foods and spicy foods.
Slight bleeding and redness in the saliva are common after dental implant placement. If there is excess bleeding, place new moist gauze over the area and bite firmly for 30–40 minutes. Repeat every 30–40 minutes with new moist gauze. If excessive bleeding continues, bite on a hot-water-moistened black tea bag firmly for 45 minutes. If there is continued excessive bleeding, call our office for further instructions at 913-451-7680.
Swelling is normal after any surgical procedure, including the placement of dental implants. The extent of swelling varies and depends on the extent of the surgery and each individual patient. The swelling will usually reach its maximum 2–3 days after the placement of dental implants. The swelling can be decreased by the immediate use of ice packs in the first 36 hours. Ice packs should be applied to the outside next to where the dental implant surgery was performed. Discontinue ice after 36 hours and begin using heat. Sitting upright and not lying flat on the first day will help to decrease the amount of swelling.
Pain medications are normally required after implant surgery. If you can take ibuprofen (Motrin® or Advil®), take 400–600 mg every 6 hours or as prescribed by your doctor. Ibuprofen will help with pain relief and swelling reduction as an anti-inflammatory. If you cannot take ibuprofen, then acetaminophen (Tylenol®) should be taken as instructed on the bottle. If you were prescribed a stronger pain medication such as Norco® (hydrocodone with acetaminophen) or Percocet® (oxycodone with acetaminophen), you can take that in addition to your ibuprofen if the pain is severe, but do not combine Norco® or Percocet® with any medication containing acetaminophen (Tylenol®). Follow the directions written on your prescription bottle. If you do take any of these medications, do not drive or work around machinery. Do not take more pain medicine than prescribed. Avoid alcohol while taking these medications. If you are uncertain how much pain medicine to take or how often, please call us at 913-451-7680.
Antibiotics will be prescribed following the procedure. Complete the prescription as directed.
Proper oral hygiene is important because it helps reduce chances of an infection. Very gentle rinsing should begin the day of dental implant surgery. If you were given a prescription for mouth rinse, follow the instructions on the prescription. If you were not given one, rinse gently with warm saltwater twice daily. You can brush your teeth the day after your dental implant surgery, but be careful not to traumatize the area where the surgery was performed.
Smoking can inhibit the healing process and can cause more pain after surgery. To ensure the best post-operative recovery, refrain from smoking for as long as possible after dental implant surgery.
If you have any questions or concerns following your dental implant surgery, please don’t hesitate to call our office at 913-451-7680.