Dental Implant Surgery Postoperative Instructions
After dental implant surgery, following the Pacific Oral Surgery postoperative dental implant surgery instructions will give you the best chance of a quick recovery and optimal postoperative results.
Day of Dental Implant Surgery
After placement of dental implants, some bleeding in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery should be avoided. There will be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue.
Severe bleeding is rare, however, if this occurs, bite down gently but firmly on the gauze packs that have been placed over the surgical areas. The packs may be safely removed after 30 minutes. If active bleeding persists, place enough new gauze to attain pressure over the surgical site for an additional 30 minutes. Moisten the gauze with water and loosely fluff for more comfortable placement. You may also use ice packs or bite on a moistened tea bag for 30 minutes. The tannic acid in the tea leaves helps to promote blood clotting. If bleeding remains consistent, please call our office.
Day 3 and 4 Dental Implant Surgery Postoperative Instructions
- Healing: The first two days after surgery are usually the most uncomfortable, and there is typically some swelling. On the third day, you should be more comfortable and, although still swollen, you can usually initiate a more substantial diet. Gradual steady improvement is your goal. If you do not see continued improvement, please call our office.
- Brushing: Begin your normal oral hygiene routine as soon as possible after surgery. Gentle soft brushing is recommended. It is particularly important to clean your teeth within the bounds of comfort. Maintaining a clean environment is optimum and rapid healing.
- Discoloration or bruising: The development of black, blue, green or yellow discoloration is a normal post-operative event that may appear 2-3 days after surgery.
- Sharp edges: If you feel something hard or experience sharp edges in the surgical areas, it is possible you are feeling the bony walls which once supported the extracted teeth. Occasionally, small slivers of bone may work themselves out during the following week . If they cause concern or discomfort, please call the office.
- Dry lips: If the corners of your mouth are stretched, they may dry out and crack. Keep your lips moist with an ointment such as Vaseline.
- Sore throat: This is not uncommon following oral surgery. The muscles become swollen and this can make swallowing painful. This should go away on its own in 2-3 days.
- Stiff jaw muscles: This may cause a limitation in opening the mouth wide for a few days following surgery. This is a common postoperative event that frequently resolves itself during the week after surgery.
Swelling is a common occurrence and may not reach its maximum until 2-3 days subsequent to surgery. To reduce swelling, apply a plastic bag or towel filled with ice on the cheek in the area of surgery. This should be applied for twenty minutes on and twenty minutes off during the first 24 hours after surgery. It is not unusual to ooze blood for 24-48 hours after surgery. Bear in mind that oral bleeding represents a small amount of blood and a lot of saliva. Placing a moist gauze pack over the area and biting gently but firmly should control bleeding. If oozing is still active, replace the gauze as needed every 30-45 minutes.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. It is sometimes advisable to confine the first day’s intake to liquids or pureed foods (soups, puddings, yogurt, milk shakes, etc.). Do not use a straw for the first few days after surgery. Over the next several days, you may gradually progress to solid foods. It is important not to skip meals! If you take nourishment regularly, you will feel better, increase strength, experience less discomfort, and heal more rapidly. If you are a diabetic, follow instructions given by your doctor.
Pain Control After Dental Implant Surgery
Unfortunately, most oral surgery is accompanied by some level of discomfort. You will usually have a prescription for pain medication. If you take the first pill before the anesthetic has worn off, you should be able to manage the discomfort. For moderate pain, ibuprofen (Advil® or Motrin®) may be taken (assuming you are free of any medical conditions that prohibit the use of ibuprofen).
The most severe pain is typically within six hours after the local anesthetic subsides; after that, your need for medicine should lessen. If you anticipate needing more prescription medication, call for a refill during weekday business hours.
Some patients find that stronger pain medication causes nausea, but if you precede each pain pill with a small amount of food, chances for nausea will be reduced. Sipping on flat ginger ale often helps. If nausea persists, stop taking the pain medication and substitute an over-the-counter pain medicine for the next dose. If nausea continues, call our office.
Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. Beginning the day after surgery, a salt water rinse should be used at least twice daily. Mix 1 tablespoon of salt with 8 ounces of water. Be sure to swish gently for at least 30 seconds, then slowly spit it out. Take a few minutes to use the entire glassful. We strongly discourage smoking during the healing phase.
Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. Keep in mind that you are probably not taking normal nourishment. This may limit your strength.
Bending, lifting, or strenuous activity may result in increased bleeding and pain. You should be careful transitioning from the lying down position to standing. You could get light-headed. Exercise should be avoided for 3 to 4 days following surgery..
It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have questions about your progress, please call our office.
To request a consultation and learn more about how we can help improve your smile, please request an appointment now.