After Placement of Dental Implants
Do not disturb the surgical wounds. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the surgical site on the day of surgery. In some cases, there may be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue.
A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva is not uncommon, even for a few days after surgery. Excessive bleeding may be controlled by first gently rinsing or wiping any old clots from your mouth, then placing a gauze pad directly over the site of surgery and biting firmly with constant pressure for thirty minutes. The gauze can be folded or two can be combined if needed. Repeat this if it doesnt work the first thirty minutes. If bleeding continues, bite on a moistened tea bag for thirty minutes, again, being sure to place it directly over the surgery site (typically, the tooth socket) with firm, constant pressure. The tannic acid in the tea bag helps to form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels. Avoid hot liquids and foods. It is also important to sit upright, remain calm and limit your physical activity. If bleeding does not subside, call us (510-797-9100) for further instructions.
The normal swelling that is expected is usually proportional to the surgery involved. A certain amount is almost always to be expected. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes and sides of the face is not uncommon. This is the bodys normal reaction to surgery and eventual repair. The swelling may not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until 2-3 days post-operatively. However, the swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs, before it occurs. Two small, plastic bags filled with ice, or ice packs should be applied to the sides of the face where surgery was performed. The ice packs should be used on a schedule of 20 minutes on and 5 minutes off, continuously, as long as the patient is not sleeping or eating. After 24 hours, ice generally has no beneficial effect on the swelling, but many patients find it to be a helpful adjunct in reducing pain. If swelling or jaw stiffness has persisted for several days, there is no cause for alarm. This is a normal reaction to surgery. Thirty-six hours following surgery, the application of moist heat to the sides of the face can be beneficial in reducing the size of the swelling. Once the normal post-operative swelling has resolved, it should not re-occur; if swelling does return, or, is progressively worsening, please contact the office (510-797-9100 or 408-916-9100).
You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off.
For moderate pain, one or two tablets of Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every three to four hours or ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) two-four 200 mg tablets may be taken every three to four hours, not to exceed the manufacturers recommended daily dose.
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, do not work around machinery, and do not consume alcoholic beverages while under the influence of these or any other medications which make you feel tired, sleepy or dizzy. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside gradually each day. If pain persists or worsens, it may require attention and you should call the office (510-797-9100). Do not take any medications if youve had prior allergic reactions to them.
After general anesthetic or I.V. sedation, liquids should be initially taken. Do not use straws. Drink from a glass. The sucking motion can cause more bleeding by dislodging the blood clot. You may eat anything soft by chewing away form the surgical sites. High calorie, high protein intake is very important. Refer to the section on suggested diet instructions at the end of the brochure. Nourishment should be taken regularly. You should prevent dehydration by taking fluids regularly. Your food intake will be a challenge for the first few days. You should compensate for this by increasing your fluid intake. At least 5-6 glasses of liquid should be taken daily; fluid replacement and maintenance is very important and should not be ignored. Try not to miss a single meal; commonly available nutritional supplement drinks can be very helpful. You will feel better, have more strength, less discomfort and heal faster if you continue to eat. Avoid any fluids or foods that are hot; your lips and mouth will be numb so test with your hand. Caution: If you suddenly sit up or stand from a lying position you may become dizzy. This is often a sign of poor fluid/food intake. If you have been lying down following surgery, make sure you sit upright for a few minutes before standing.
If antibiotics were prescribed, finish your prescription unless you experience adverse reactions or develop an allergy, in which case you should call the office. Not all patients and not all procedures require antibiotics. If you have been placed on antibiotics, take the tablets or liquid as directed. Discontinue antibiotic use in the event of a rash or other unfavorable reaction. Call the office if you have any questions (510-797-9100).
Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. The night of surgery, use the Peridex or Periogard (Chlorhexidine mouth rinse) before bed if prescribed. Beginning the day after surgery, the Chlorhexidine mouth rinse should be used twice daily, after breakfast and before bed. Be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds then spit it out. Lukewarm salt water rinses (teaspoon of salt in a cup of lukewarm water) should be used at least 4-5 times a day, as well, especially after meals. Brushing your teeth and the healing abutments is no problem. Be gentle initially with brushing the surgical areas.
Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you are considering exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. Keep in mind that you are probably not taking normal nourishment. This may weaken you and further limit your ability to exercise. If you get lightheaded, stop exercising.
Wearing your Prosthesis
Partial dentures, flippers, full dentures or any other forms of tooth replacement generally should not be used immediately after surgery. You will receive individual instruction regarding this during the pre-operative consultation. If you have any questions, please discuss this with Dr. Minkin.