After Placement of Dental Implants
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. Avoid putting your fingers in your mouth or pulling your cheek back to look at the surgical site because this will pull at the stitches and potentially rip or tear stitches or 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 an ice pack or towel filled with ice on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously, 20 minutes on – 20 minutes off, as much as possible, for the first 36 hours.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery.(Things like mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, ice cream, pudding, jell-o, etc.) Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.
You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you get home, prior to 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. If prescribed medications by Dr. Josephs, please take as directed. (Typically prescription pain medications are prescribed for every 6 hours but can be alternated so that you are taking something every 3 hours: example Hydrocodone 10/325 taken first and 3 hours later Ibuprofen 600mg then back to the Hydrocodone 10/325)
Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection.
Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. Warm salt water rinses (teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) should be used at least 4-5 times a day, as well, especially after meals. Light brushing of your teeth and the healing abutments is not problem. Be gentle initially with brushing the surgical areas. Bleeding with brushing initially is not uncommon.
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 should not be used immediately after surgery and for at least 10 days unless otherwise indicated by your surgeon. This was discussed in the pre-operative consultation.