Treatment after dental implant surgery
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.
Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding (your mouth fills up rapidly with blood) can be controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues please call for further instructions.
Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply a cold pack, ice pack or frozen peas on the cheek in the area of surgery. Do not apply ice or anything frozen directly on the skin. Cover the ice in a bag or towel. Apply the ice continuously, as much as possible, for the first 48 hours. Keep your head elevated as much as possible. Avoid lying flat. Sleep or rest in a recliner or with extra pillows under your head.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Continue to eat soft foods away from the surgical site until otherwise directed by your surgical team. Avoid eating hard or crunchy foods entirely that may accidentally migrate over the surgical site.
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: 2-3 tablets may be taken every 3-4 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.
Be sure to take any prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection.
Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. If an oral rinse has been prescribed (Chlorhexidine) then starting on the day after surgery, the oral rinse should be used twice daily, after breakfast and before bed. Be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds then spit it out. Warm salt water rinses (teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) may be used at least 4-5 times a day as well, especially after meals. Brushing your teeth and the healing abutments with a soft toothbrush is no problem and is encouraged. Be gentle initially with brushing the surgical areas.
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
Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures may or may not be used immediately after surgery. This should be discussed in the pre-operative consultation.