Dental Implant Placement – Post-Operative Instructions

Dentist in Columbia, MD

DO NOT DISTURB THE AREA:  For the next few days, and especially the first 24 hours, it is very important to allow your body to form a good clot and start the natural healing process.

DO NOT: Swish, suck through a straw, spit or smoke, it can all dislodge the clot. Keep anything sharp from entering the wound (crunchy food, toothpicks, eating utensils). Be sure to chew on the opposite side until the area heals completely.

BLEEDING:  When you leave the office, you might be biting on a gauze pad to control bleeding. Keep slight pressure on this gauze for at least 30 to 60 minutes. Don’t change it during this time; it needs to remain undisturbed while a clot forms. After you remove the gauze and it is still bleeding, then you may bite on another gauze or a tea bag for another 60 minutes.  Small amounts of blood in the saliva can make your saliva appear quite red. This is normal and may be noticed the rest of the day after the procedure.

DIET:  Eat soft foods until the area is healed. Maintain a good, balanced diet, you need proper nutrition to heal. Drink plenty of water. Avoid alcohol for 48 hours.  Keeping the area clean from food debris will promote good healing.

SMOKING:  Smoking should be stopped following surgery. Healing and success of the surgery will be substantially reduced by the cigarette smoke chemicals in your body.

PAIN:  Some discomfort is normal after surgery. To minimize pain, take Ibuprofen and Tylenol as needed to maintain comfort. Start take it before the anesthesia wears off. If prescription pain medication is prescribed, take it as instructed on the label. Don’t exceed the dose on the label.

SWELLING:  If there is any swelling, applying an ice bag to the face over the operated area will minimize swelling. Apply for 15 minutes, then remove for 15 minutes. Continue this for the first day.

NUMBNESS:  The local anesthetic will cause you to be numb for several hours after you leave the office. Be very careful not to bite, chew, pinch, or scratch the numb area. Sometimes the procedure causes residual numbness or tingling for six weeks or longer.

BRUSHING:  Do not brush your teeth for the first 8 hours after surgery. After this, you must brush your teeth to reduce bacteria amount, but avoid the area of surgery for a few more days.

RINSING:  Avoid all rinsing or swishing for 24 hours after extraction. Rinsing can disturb the formation of a healing blood clot which is essential to proper healing. This could cause bleeding and risk of dry socket. After 24 hours you may begin gentle rinsing with the Peridex rinse or a saltwater solution (1/2 teaspoon salt + 8 ounces warm water). Avoid commercial mouthrinses that contain alcohol.

ACTIVITY:   After leaving the office, rest and avoid strenuous activities for the remainder of the day. Keeping blood pressure lower will reduce bleeding and aid healing.

ANTIBIOTICS:  If you were given an antibiotic prescription, take all of them as directed until they are gone. Women: some antibiotics can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills. Use alternate birth control methods for two months.

SUTURES:  You will return in 2 weeks to have sutures removed.

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS – Trismus (stiffness) in the face muscles may cause difficulty in opening your mouth for a period of days. Moist heat compresses can minimize this condition. You may experience aching from other teeth. This discomfort is caused by referred pain and is a temporary condition. It is not unusual to develop bruising in the area of the procedure.

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