After Placement of Dental Implants
Home Instructions After Dental Implant Surgery
After dental implant surgery, do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. There will be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue.
Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding (your mouth fills rapidly with blood) can be controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues profusely, please call for further instructions.
Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling apply an ice bag, or a plastic bag or towel filled with ice, on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously, as much as possible, for the first 36 hours. Swelling typically peaks after 48 hours and takes one week to fully resolve.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed but try to chew food on the side opposite of where the dental implant was placed.
You should begin taking pain medication BEFORE you feel the local anesthetic wearing off.
For moderate pain:
3 tablets of 200mg Ibuprofen (over the counter) every 6 hours. You can alternate with 2 tablets of 500mg Extra Strength Tylenol every 6 hours if needed. Take the Ibuprofen first, then 3 hours later take the Tylenol. 3 hours after the Tylenol, take the next dose of Ibuprofen, and then continue the alternation schedule every 3 hours while awake.
For severe pain:
Narcotic pain medications can be prescribed and the medication should be taken as directed.
Narcotic pain medications do not help with swelling so they should still be alternated with Ibuprofen.
3 tablets of 200mg Ibuprofen (over the counter) or 600mg prescription strength Ibuprofen every 6 hours. You can alternate with 1 table of Norco or similar narcotic pain medication every 6 hours if needed. Take the Ibuprofen first, then 3 hours later take the narcotic. 3 hours after the narcotic, take the next dose of Ibuprofen, and then continue the alternation schedule every 3 hours while awake.
Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic to them, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call the office.
10:00am: Ibuprofen 600mg
1:00pm: Tylenol 100mg if mild to moderate pain, Norco 5/325mg if severe pain
4:00pm: Ibuprofen 600mg
7:00pm: Tylenol 100mg if mild to moderate pain, Norco 5/325mg if severe pain
10:00pm: Ibuprofen 600mg
* Overnight dosing depends on pain control. If pain has been difficult to control, set an alarm for every 3 hours and stay on the schedule as above. If pain has been easy to control, set the next dose of pain medication by the bed with water and plan to take if you wake up in pain during the night.
Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection.
Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. Keeping the healing abutment and surround teeth clean and free of plaque or debris is critical for the healing process. Warm salt water rinses (one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) can be used at least 4-5 times a day as well, especially after meals. Brush your teeth and the healing abutments. Be gentle initially while brushing the surgical areas. DO NOT use an electric toothbrush around the implant site as the vibration can dislodge the healing abutment off the implant.
Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. Keep in mind that you are probably not taking in 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 for at least 10 days, as discussed in the pre-operative consultation.