Home Instructions for Implants
For your comfort, safety and to help prevent possible complications read the following.
After leaving the office, relax for the remainder of the day. Avoid strenuous activity for 3 days. If you have been given a sedative, do not: drive, watch children, make serious decisions or operate machinery for at least 8 to 10 hours
Some swelling may be present the day after the surgery and may peak at 48-72 hours after surgery. Cold liquids are important for reducing swelling, discomfort, and bleeding. Sip ice water, iced tea, frozen yogurt, milkshakes, or similar cold liquids and keep the surgical area cold for the remainder of the day after surgery. Do not use a straw, as suction can start bleeding. Swelling can also be minimized by placing an ice pack over the treated area, on the outside of the face. Continue for 24 hours after surgery alternating on and off at 20 minute intervals.
There should be minimal bleeding after surgery. When you leave, you may have gauze placed in your mouth. It may be removed once you get home. You may have a pink discoloration of your saliva for up to 24 hours; frank bleeding (bright red) is not to be expected. Should bleeding occur, take a piece of gauze, make a firm compress and place directly over the area which is bleeding. Apply steady pressure for 30 minutes. Placing a moistened tea bag over the area may be more effective. Sit quietly in an upright position to aid in controlling the bleeding. If these measures do not stop the bleeding, let the doctor know.
Eating, Drinking, Smoking
High protein soft foods and liquids are important during the 3-5 day postoperative period. During this time avoid solid, spicy, salty, hot foods, hot or carbonated liquids and do not: spit, smoke, rinse hard, drink through a straw, or create a “sucking” action in your mouth. If you are comfortable you can start eating solid food after 3-5 days. Do not drink alcohol for 8 days following surgery. Do not smoke during the post surgical period, as wound healing will be delayed.
Ask us about new treatments to help you quit smoking.
It is most important to maintain a nutritious diet at all times particularly during the healing period. People who maintain a good diet of soft foods generally feel better, have less discomfort and heal faster. Foods containing tomatoes, onions, pepper, or spices of any kind may be irritating and should be avoided.
REMEMBER: You may eat any soft foods that do not irritate. You may chew if it is not uncomfortable to do so. You may lose part of the dressing around the teeth as your ability to chew improves but this can be replaced easily. If there are any questions, please call the office.
IMPORTANT: Take a multi-vitamin that contains Vitamins C, E, and Zinc twice a day.
Do not brush your teeth or rinse your mouth for the rest of today. Tomorrow you may begin rinsing with your prescription “Chlorhexidine” or Peridex Oral mouth rinse. It will keep the surgical area clean while it heals. Rinse twice daily for 30 seconds and don’t eat or drink for 1 hour. Make sure you brush and floss the rest of your teeth as usual to minimize infection and staining but don’t use an oral irrigating device for six months. Do not disturb the surgical area for 1 week; after that lightly clean the teeth using a very soft toothbrush soaked in warm water or cotton swab with Chlorhexidine. Do not brush tissue grafted areas until your stitches are removed!
Care of Dressing
If a dressing was placed over the surgical site, try to stay away from it the first few days. “Sutures” are placed to hold the gum tissues in the proper position for ideal healing. It is primarily for comfort. If the dressing should become loose or fall off, and there is no increase in the level of discomfort, it is o.k. to leave it off. However, disturbing the sutures will impair healing. If you notice a loose or missing suture, it is not urgent; contact us during regular hours for instructions.
Follow the instructions on the bottle for prescribed medications. If an adverse reaction occurs, (nausea, itching, swelling, severe diarrhea), stop the medicine and contact the office immediately.
Discomfort or Fever
A slight fever is usual after a simple procedure for a day or so. Fever may also be caused by inadequate fluid intake. If you have a high fever or more pain than can be controlled with your prescriptions, call us. Your teeth may be sensitive to extremes of hot, cold, and sweets. This is completely normal and usually diminishes as healing progresses. Good plaque control helps the desensitizing process. It is also helpful to brush with toothpaste for sensitive teeth. If the sensitivity does not improve, let us know.
Removable Temporary Teeth or “Flipper”
If an appliance has been given to you for use during healing, leave it in the first night unless otherwise instructed. The next morning, remove it, rinse it thoroughly, and place it back in your mouth. It not only replaces teeth it acts as a bandage to help keep swelling down. In some cases sore spots may develop. Contact our office after surgery to adjust and relieve those sore spots. Failure to do so may result in severe sores, which may prolong the healing process.
Normal but Unusual
If bruising occurs, the application of a moist warm towel will help eliminate the discoloration quicker. The towel should be applied continuously for as long as tolerable beginning 36 hours after surgery (ice packs are used for the first 36 hours only). A sore throat may also develop. This is normal and should subside in 2-3 days. If the corners of the mouth are stretched, they may dry out and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with a lip ointment.
Notify the Office if
- Your medications does not relieve your discomfort
- If you develop a fever above 99.5F
- If you have any unusual swelling, uncontrolled bleeding or discharge
- If you develop any changes in vision, balance.
There will sometimes be a metal healing cap protruding through the gum tissue; it looks like a shiny button and is normal. After 1-week you can gently swab the healing cap with a Q-tip dipped in Chlorhexidine antiseptic mouthwash before rinsing. Two times a day is fine. If a healing cap was not placed and you notice a shiny spot poking through the gum contact our office on the next business day. While this is not urgent, contact our office on the next business day for instructions. Pressure on the implant, during healing, can cause problems. Do not eat solid food in the area of implant placement until instructed. If you have a temporary appliance and it feels like it is hitting the implant make an appointment to have it adjusted. This can overload the implant and make it loose.