Dental Implants After Care
Try not to disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting or touching the wound on the day of surgery. A metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue may occur.
A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected after surgery. Slight bleeding, oozing or redness in the saliva is not uncommon for 24 hours or more. Control excess bleeding by rinsing or wiping any old clots from your mouth and then biting firmly on gauze for 30 minutes; repeating as necessary. If bleeding continues, bite on a moistened tea bag for 30 minutes. The tannic acid in tea helps form a clot by contracting the blood vessels in the area. To minimize further bleeding, remain calm and call the office for further instructions.
The amount of swelling experienced is generally proportional to the surgery involved. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes and sides of the face is not uncommon and is the body’s normal reaction to surgery, inflammation and eventual repair. The swelling will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until two to three days postoperatively. It may be minimized by the use of ice packs applied to the sides of the face where surgery was done. The ice packs should be left on for 20 minutes and then off for 20 minutes for the first 12-24 hours after surgery. After 36 hours, the ice is of no benefit. If swelling or jaw stiffness persists for several days there is no cause for alarm as this is a normal reaction to surgery. 36 hours after surgery, the application of moist heat to the affected area is beneficial in reducing the amount of swelling.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid extremely hot liquids or food for the first 24 hours. Soft foods (things you can smash with a fork) should be eaten on the day of surgery. You may return to a normal diet as soon as your are comfortable unless directed otherwise.
Take one or two tablets of Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol every three to four hours, or two to four Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) 200 mg tablets (400-800 mg) may be taken every six hours.
Take the medication prescribed as directed (typically narcotic medication). This medication will make you groggy and slow down your reflexes. Do not operate a motorized vehicle or machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages.
Do not rinse or spit on the day of your surgery. This can disturb the blood clot, open the wound, potentially dislodge the membrane, prolong bleeding and/or slow healing. You should not have a significant amount of blood in your mouth, but saliva can be swallowed, even if slightly blood tinged.
Keeping your mouth clean after surgery is essential to reduce the risk of infection. Start warm salt water rinses after the day of your procedure by combining ½ teaspoon of salt dissolved in 8 ounces of warm water and gently rinsing with small portions until the solution is gone. Repeat four to five times daily and always after eating for the next five days.
Do not brush the teeth in the area of surgery for 48 hours – when 48 hours have passed, brush and spit gently. Additionally, we may prescribe an antibiotic rinse which should be used at least in the morning and at bed time. With frequency, use this medication on a cotton-tipped applicator, gently wiping the membrane and surrounding area to minimize staining of your teeth. Do not eat, drink or rinse your mouth after using the antibiotic rinse for at least 30 minutes.
Sutures are placed in the surgical area to minimize postoperative bleeding and to help healing. Dissolvable sutures typically fall out in five to seven days while non dissolvable sutures will require a return visit for removal one to two weeks post surgery. Sometimes the sutures become dislodged, but this is not a cause for alarm – simply remove the suture from your mouth and discard.
Wearing Your Prosthesis
Partial and full dentures may be used after your surgery, but only with the permission of Dr. Broering. Follow postoperative instructions so as to avoid pressure from these appliances on your surgical site or healing abutments.
Keep physical activities to a minimum for the first several days after your surgery, as throbbing or bleeding can occur in this time frame – if this is the case, minimize or discontinue exercising. Keep in mind that you are probably not taking normal nourishment for the first several days, and in turn this may cause weakness and further limit your ability to comfortably exercise.