Post-operative Instructions – Dental Implants
1. The most important thing to remember for recovery from this procedure is to take it easy for a few days. If you are having a single or multiple implants with minimal other procedures done, you may be able to return to normal activities on the day after surgery.
2. You should expect swelling and some discomfort after this procedure. Following the post operative instructions will minimize this.
3. We will provide you with an ice pack to place on the side of your jaw immediately after surgery. Keep this ice pack in place for 15 minutes, then remove for 15 minutes, repeating this for the remainder of the day. You can make another ice pack by placing ice or frozen peas in a plastic bag wrapped with a light towel or cloth. The ice pack greatly reduces the swelling. Ice should be applied for the first 24 to 72 hours.
4. Take pain medication as prescribed. Be sure to take the first dose right away, before the local anesthetic wears off, then take as needed. You do not have to finish the pain medication.
We will prescribe an antibiotic for you. It is very important that you finish this medication unless otherwise directed. Sometimes we prescribe a steroid for swelling.
5. There is usually a minimal amount of bleeding following implant procedures.
6. Rinse with Peridex starting 24 hours after the surgery. Rinse very lightly without swishing. Swishing vigorously will tend to slow the healing process. It is best that you do not try to rinse for the first 24 hours after surgery. Continue this procedure for about 2 weeks.
7. Do not attempt to brush or floss in the area of surgery for the first two weeks. Keep your mouth clean with Peridex rinses. After the initial two week healing period, cleaning the implant area will be very important and we will instruct you on how to clean it at the appropriate time. The rest of your mouth can be taken care of normally.
8. No hot foods the day of surgery – lukewarm or cool only. Diet and nutrition are very important. Eat soft food containing protein. Food such as liver, meat, eggs, milk, yogurt and whole grain or enriched cereals are better for you.
Care should be taken to gently rinse food from around the implant area after eating. If you have natural teeth in the area of the mouth not affected by the implant surgery, you can eat normally on those natural teeth. As the soreness goes away, you will gradually be able to chew more normally.
9. It is very important that the gums heal properly. If you have dentures and had multiple implants placed, the best way to help the gums heal is to avoid wearing the complete denture over the area of surgery for at least two weeks. If for personal reasons, you absolutely must wear your denture after having implants placed, be very careful not to chew anything over the implant area.
In summary, use good common sense in caring for the surgical area during the initial healing period. The implant will be an excellent service to you if it heals properly. All of the preceding steps will help it heal faster. Do not hesitate to call us if you have any questions.
Learn more about dental implants here.