Post-op Instructions – After Implant Placement
A certain amount of swelling, pain and bleeding is normal.
The following instructions are provided to make your postoperative recovery period as short and pleasant as possible:
Bite down and maintain firm pressure on the gauze pack that was placed at the end of your surgery. Do this for at least 30 minutes. At that time remove the pack and replace it with another gauze sponge as provided. Repeat this as necessary. There should not be excessive bleeding. Bright red blood rapidly pooling in the area is not normal. If this occurs and does not decrease with pressure, please call the office immediately.
If you were asleep for the surgery be sure to eat a soft nutritious food prior to taking any medications. This will decrease the chances of post surgical nausea. You were prescribed an antibiotic after surgery. This should be continued until all the pills have been taken. Take your pain medications as needed in accordance with the directions. Codeine, hydrocodone or Demerol can be supplemented with Advil type medications. Be sure you have no allergies that the doctor does no know about.
Do not rinse or spit for a minimum of 72 hours and longer if possible. This tends to disturb the blood clot, open the wound and can prolong bleeding and slow healing. Saliva can be swallowed. Do not brush the teeth in the area of surgery for 48 hours. When brushing, be gentle. When spitting, BE GENTLE. If you used a prescribed mouthwash prior to surgery, it should be continued starting 24 hours after your surgery. Place the mouthwash in the area of the surgery and let it sit 30-60 seconds Do not rinse with it until after you have returned for suture removal (2 weeks after implant placement).
Apply ice immediately in the area where the surgery was done. If your surgery was in the anterior upper jaw you can expect swelling and discomfort up into the nose and even under the eyes. Bruising and discoloration is not unusual. Crushed ice or equivalent should be placed in a plastic bag then in a washcloth and placed on the face. Apply for 30 minutes, then off for 20-30 minutes. This should be done on a near continuous basis (or as much as possible) for the first 48 hours and longer if possible or if this helps reduce your pain.
Avoid excess physical activity and exercise. In addition, DO NOT SMOKE. Do not drink with a straw or drink carbonated liquids (minimum 3 days). Do not consume alcoholic beverages while taking your pain medication. SMOKING INCREASES THE RISK OF IMPLANT FAILURE.
You will notice that you cannot see any implants in your mouth as the gums cover the area. This is good. Do not stretch your lip daily to inspect the area. This can cause wound breakdown. In many instances a healing cap was placed over the implant. This will look silver and will be emerging through the gums. Do not stretch your lip daily to inspect the area. This can cause wound breakdown. Be very cautious not to eat on these temporary caps as it will place undue movement on the implants below.
If you have a temporary flipper to wear do not place it until the numbness in the area is gone. When it is placed it should not touch the gums in the area of the surgery. If it does, this can cause ulceration of the wound edges and breakdown of the suture margins. If you have questions about the fit of your flipper, do not wear it until your general dentist of this office can see you.
Most follow up appointments are scheduled for 1 weeks after surgery. If something would arise that you consider unusual please do not hesitate to contact the office immediately.