After Placement of Dental Implants
Do not disturb the surgical site. There may be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gum tissue, if so, avoid using the abutment when chewing food.
You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate pain, 1 or 2 tablets of Acetaminophen (Tylenol) may be taken every 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 6 hours as needed for pain. For severe pain, the prescription pain medication should be taken as directed. Do not take your prescription pain medicine within 4 hours after taking Acetaminophen (Tylenol). Do not take any of the above medications if you are allergic, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it.
A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva is not uncommon. A large amount of saliva with a small amount of blood can appear to be a large amount of blood. Excessive bleeding which results in your mouth filling with blood can frequently be controlled applying pressure by biting on a moistened gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding site for 30-45 minutes. Repeat if necessary. If bleeding continues, bite on a moistened black tea bag for 30-45 minutes. The tannins in the black tea help to reduce bleeding by causing contraction of the blood vessels. To minimize further bleeding, remain calm, sit upright and avoid excessive activity. If your bleeding does not subside after following the directions above, please call the office at 970-498-0196 for further instructions.
The swelling that is normally expected is usually proportional to the surgery involved. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes and sides of the face is not uncommon. This is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and eventual repair. Typically your swelling will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until two to three days following surgery. However, the swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. Two plastic bags filled with ice or ice packs should be applied to the areas of the face and jaws where surgery was performed. The ice packs should be left on for no longer than twenty minutes at a time, with a twenty minute break between applications. After twenty-four hours, ice has limited beneficial effect and should be discontinued. If swelling or jaw stiffness has persisted for several days, there is no cause for alarm. This is a normal reaction to surgery. Twenty-four hours following surgery, the application of moist heat to the affected areas of the face and jaws is beneficial in reducing stiffness and improving your range of jaw motion.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids and abrasive or spicy food. Liquids and soft foods should be eaten on the day of surgery. Unless otherwise directed, you may return to a normal diet as soon as the discomfort subsides at the surgery site .
Be sure to take and finish any prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection at tghe surgical site.
Good oral hygiene is essential for proper healing. The night of surgery, use the prescribed chlorhexidine oral rinse before bed. The day after surgery, the chorhexidine rinse should be used twice daily, after breakfast and before bed. Be sure to rinse for at least 60 seconds before spitting it out. Warm salt-water rinses (one teaspoon of salt in an 8 ounce cup of warm water) can be used as well, especially after meals. Brushing your teeth with the healing abutments is not a problem. Be gentle when brushing the surgical areas.
Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. Vigorous exercise may cause throbbing pain or increased bleeding to occur.
Wearing your Prosthesis
Limited use of partial dentures, “flippers” or full dentures is recommended in the first few weeks following implant surgery. Avoid chewing with your prosthesis as this has the potential to cause harm to the healing implant site.