After Placement of Dental Implants

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Postoperative Implant Care

  • A dental implant has been placed in your mouth.  This implant is located under the tissue and cannot be seen.  This type of implant has been selected for your particular situation because of the bone available to place an implant.  The implant will usually remain submerged for a period of four to six months depending upon your body’s healing properties and type of implant.
  • If a sedative medicine has been give, you cannot drive a care for the remainder of the day.
  • One week after the surgery the surgical site will be re-checked by Dr. Hardy.
  • Usually you are able to wear your present partial or flipper.  Sometimes it is necessary to leave it in the night of the surgery.  It is important to keep the appliance as clean as possible during the healing period.  Your referring dentist can make a temporary tooth replacement if it is necessary. If braces are being worn, your orthodontist can place a tooth for cosmetic purposes.
  • Every consideration must be given to keep the surgical site clean and free of food particles.

The following are instructions for your mouth care after surgery:

  1. NO SMOKING! Smoking is to be avoided for the entire healing period.  Smoking increases the heat in the surgical site and significantly lowers the body’s ability to heal the site.
  2. Avoid alcohol, commercial mouth rinses and very hot fluids for 30 hours after your surgery.
  3. Gentle rinsing of the mouth should be started the day of the surgery.  Frequent gentle rinsing with lukewarm salt water will aid the healing process (add ½ teaspoon of salt to 6 oz. of glass water).  Avoid the use of a water-pik toothbrush.  If you were prescribed a mouth rinse, use as directed.
  4. Antibiotics: Patients should follow the instructions on the prescription given to them prior to the surgery.  If an antibiotic has been prescribed to you, it is very important that the prescription is filled and taken as directed.  Please take the tablets/capsules until all are used.  Should you develop hives, itching, skin rash or have difficulty breathing, stop the medication and call the doctor immediately.
  5. Discomfort: A certain amount of pain must be expected with all types of surgery.  An appropriate pain medication has been prescribed for you.  Please take it according to the directions.  It is advised that you NOT drive while taking the pain prescription.  However, if only Motrin is being taken, most people are able to drive without any problems.
  6. Swelling: Some swelling and minimal bruising is possible and is to be expected.  IT IS NOT UNUSUAL!  In most cases, swelling can be prevented and/or controlled.  Apply the ice pack that has been given you for a period of 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for the next two days.  In the first 12-24 hours following surgery, the application of ice to the outside of the face over the surgical area will minimize swelling.  The second day after surgery is when you can expect to have the most swelling.  If, after three days the swelling appears to be getting worse, please call the office.
  7. Bleeding: A small amount of bleeding, following surgery, should not harm you.  If the bleeding is excessive or continuous, please call us, at once.  Vigorous rinsing of the mouth prolongs bleeding by removing the clotting blood, so avoid rinsing until otherwise directed.
  8. Straws: Straws create a negative pressure in your mouth and will tend to loosen the sutures or cause bleeding.
  9. Diet: Following surgery it is best to restrict your diet to fluids and soft foods for the first 72 hours.  A normal diet may then be resumed, but you will want to avoid chewing on the surgery site for while healing.  Soft foods such as Jello, pudding, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs and soups are suggested.  If you have difficulty chewing, try blenderized foods or diet supplements such as Sustacal, Carnation Instant Breakfast or Ensure.
  10. Implant Follow-up:
  • We will see you for periodic check-ups until the submerged portion becomes stable.  Dr Hardy normally will have you follow-up one month later and then again, right before it is time to restore the implant.  This process typically lasts 4-6 months following placement, depending on the type of implant being used.
  • If the implant was submerged, and after the healing period has been completed, the doctor will place a head abutment on the submerged implant.  You will be instructed on how to properly care for the treatment crown or bridge.
  • After a “trial period” of approximately one month wit the treatment crown or bridge, you will be instructed how to properly care for the treatment crown or bridge by your restoring dentist.