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Implant Post-Operative Instructions

Sometimes the after-effects of oral surgery are quite minimal, not all of these instructions may apply. Common sense will often dictate what you should do. However, when in doubt, follow these guidelines or call our office for clarification.
Day of Surgery
Limit physical activity during the first 24-48 hours after surgery. Over exertion may lead to postoperative bleeding, swelling and discomfort. When you lie down, keep your head elevated on a pillow.
Leave the gauze pads in place for 30-45 minutes, maintaining firm pressure.
Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24-48 hours. This bleeding/oozing may continue throughout the first 24 hours. If bleeding persists, slightly moisten and place a new gauze sponge, and continue pressure for an additional 30-45 minutes. If bleeding continues please call our office.
To minimize swelling apply ice 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off, throughout the first day. It is not uncommon to have some swelling from this procedure. Swelling usually peaks between days two and three. After 48 hours you may switch from ice to moist heat.
Sutures were placed to control bleeding and to aid in the healing process. Do not lift or pull up your lip to look at the stitches. The sutures will usually dissolve in 5-10 days.
Do not smoke. Smoking inhibits healing and is very detrimental to the long-term success of your dental implants.
Bone Graft
If a bone graft was placed, it is very important not to disturb the bone graft. You may find some small granules in your mouth for the first several days. This is not uncommon. To minimize the amount of particles that becomes dislodged.

  • Do not vigorously rinse or spit for 7 days.
  • Do not use a straw.
  • Do not apply FIRM pressure to the grafted area.
  • Do not touch or manipulate the site with your tongue or fingers.
Unfortunately most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort.

Pain medication – Unfortunately most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort.

Please do not drink alcoholic beverages, drive a car or operate machinery while taking prescribed pain medication.

Antibiotics – Take antibiotics on the specified dosing schedule. Yogurt with active cultures and/or acidophilus may be taken while on antibiotics to help minimize gastrointestinal side effects. If you develop severe cramping and/or diarrhea please notify the office.
If you are on birth control pills, please be advised that antibiotics and other medications can and may neutralize the preventive effect of birth control pills, allowing for conception and pregnancy. Please consult your physician to initiate additional forms of birth control during the period of treatment.

Anti-swelling medication – If our team prescribed medication to help control swelling, please take the medication on the specified dosing schedule.

Prescription rinse – Rinse with the prescribed antibiotic rinse (Peridex) as directed.
Nausea is an uncommon event after surgery; it is sometimes caused by stronger pain medications. Preceding each pill with a small amount of soft food and liquids may reduce nausea. Try to keep taking clear fluids and minimize the pain medication. If nausea is persistent please give the office a call.
Avoid chewing on the implant sites. The force while chewing during the healing phase can decrease the body’s ability to heal around the implant.
Food selection is largely a matter of your choice. It is recommended that you confine the first day/week’s intake to soft foods (creamed soups, puddings, yogurt, milk shakes (no straw), macaroni and cheese, pasta, ice cream, etc.). Over the next several days you can progress to solid foods at your own pace. Eating a nutritious diet throughout your healing process will help you feel better.

If you are diabetic, maintain your normal eating habits as much as possible and follow instructions from us or your physician regarding your insulin schedule. You may need to test your blood sugar more frequently during the first 48 hours post-operatively.
Begin your normal oral hygiene routine as soon as possible after surgery. Keeping your mouth clean after surgery is essential. It is very important to keep the surgical area free of debris and dental plaque.
Mouth Rinses
Do not rinse the day of surgery. Beginning the next day, mix ¼ teaspoon of salt in an 8-ounce glass of warm water and gently rinse two or three times daily for the next week (in addition to your prescription mouth rinse, if prescribed).
Removable Appliance (Flipper)
The removable appliance should remain in your mouth overnight. In the morning, remove the appliance and rinse out your mouth. This should be done for the first three days. It is important that you leave the appliance in your mouth because swelling can occur. You may need to schedule an appointment with your dentist for minor adjustments to the removable appliance.
Temporary Crown
If a temporary crown was placed on the implant please be advised:

  • The crown is for aesthetics only.
  • Do not use this crown for biting.
  • Keep diet soft.
Our team of Surgeons and their staff wish you a smooth and pleasant recovery. Following these instructions will assist in your post operative healing. If you have any questions please call the office during office hours for a faster response. A 24-hour answering service is available for after hours contact with the doctor.