After Placement of Dental Implants
Home Care After Dental Implant Surgery
Do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of dental implant 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 20 minutes. If bleeding continues please call for further instructions.
Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag, or a plastic bag, or towel filled with ice on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice 10 minutes on, 20 minutes off, as much as possible, for the first 24 hours.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Do not drink alcohol. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.
You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate pain, 2 acetaminophen (Tylenol®) 325 mg tablets may be taken every 6 hours. Ibuprofen (Advil® or Motrin®) may be alternated with acetaminophen. Ibuprofen, bought over the counter, comes in 200 mg tablets: 3 tablets may be taken every 6 hours as needed for pain. By alternating between these two different types of medicine, you can take something for pain every 3 hours without concern of overdose. For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed substituting it for the Tylenol® (since the prescription also contains acetaminophen). 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 the prescribed antibiotics as directed until finished to help prevent infection.
Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. The night of surgery, use the prescribed chlorhexidine oral rinse (Peridex®) before bed. The day after surgery, the chlorhexidine 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 (1/2 teaspoon of salt in an 8 oz. glass 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.
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 your normal nourishment. This may weaken you and further limit your ability to exercise.
Wearing Your Denture
Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures that cover the surgical site should not be used immediately after surgery and for at least 10 days unless they were made specifically for this procedure.