After Placement of Dental Implants
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 in most cases.
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. Significant bleeding is uncommon with dental implants so if bleeding continues and not diminished by biting firmly but gently on gauze with firm direct gauze pressure, 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 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off continuously, as much as possible, for the first 24 hours.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft creamy food and liquids should be eaten following your surgery. Micromovement of the implants caused by a chewing diet can cause implants to fail. Dr. Gliddon will require you to avoid foods that require chewing in the first 2 weeks following implant placement. He will then let you know if it is okay to advance to a soft, diet (such as eggs, noodles, tuna/flaky fish, non-chunky soups) while continuing to refrain from any chewing in the area of your dental implant(s) for 2 1/2 to 3 months..
For minor pain, one or two tablets of Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every 3-4 hours. For more moderate pain you may choose to take Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) in which case you should take one to two 200 mg tablets every 3-4 hours.
For severe pain, take the tablets prescribed as directed. The prescribed pain medicine will make you groggy and will slow down your reflexes. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. You may take Ibuprofen in between doses of the pain medicine prescribed which can aid in pain relief but also works on inflammation. Do not take any additional Tylenol/Acetaminophen when using the prescribed pain medication because it contains Tylenol. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. Eventually you may find that you can manage your pain with over-the-counter meds only. If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call the office.
Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection. You may want to avoid taking the antibiotic and pain medicine at exactly the same time to avoid stomach upset. Discontinue antibiotic use in the event of a rash or any other unfavorable reaction and contact our office immediately. Take Benadryl/Diphenhydramine according to over-the-counter instructions which can help if you are experiencing an allergic reaction.
Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. You should gently brush your teeth the night of surgery. The day after surgery warm salt water rinses (one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) should be used at least 4-5 times a day, especially after meals. Brush your teeth and the healing abutments. Be gentle initially while brushing the surgical areas.
Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. You should plan to rest for at least 2 days following surgery. If you are involved in regular exercise, we recommend that you minimize activity and avoid exercise in the first week following surgery. Raising your heart rate and blood pressure can interfere with your healing. Also, be aware that your normal nourishment intake is reduced.
Wearing your Prosthesis
Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures, should be worn following surgery as directed by Dr. Gliddon.