POST OPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS FOR DENTAL IMPLANT PATIENTS
You have just had osseointegrated dental implants placed to restore your missing tooth and/or teeth. These particular implants have proven to be successful over a long period of time. The high success rate is due in part to your commitment to maintaining your restorations and following these guidelines for proper post-operative care. We have found that your active involvement in the first week of healing plays an important role. These instructions, not only answer your questions but also ensure the success of your investment. Please note that not every point which is reviewed may be applicable to your particular situation. For example, you may or may not be wearing a removable denture during your healing phase. Should you have any questions regarding this document, please do not hesitate to discuss it with any member of our staff.
Your post-operative dietary instructions will vary depending upon the specifics of your surgery. It’s always best to start with a bland, nutritionally balanced blenderized or semi-liquid diet the first day. Advancement to soft and regular foods should be discussed with your doctor.
A steady oozing of blood may be expected from the wounds the first hour. We also expect your saliva to be tinged with blood for the remainder of the day and evening. If bleeding becomes persistent, it may be stopped by applying direct pressure with a moist clean gauze pack for ten minutes. If that does not help, place a dry teabag over the wound and bite firmly for 15 minutes. Repeat if necessary. Try not to swallow the blood because it may cause an upset stomach. If bleeding persists, please contact this office at (202) 466-7555, 24 hours a day.
Facial swelling can be minimized by keeping the head elevated with two pillows when lying down, by keeping ice packs over the areas of surgery for 24 hours, and by keeping physical activity reduced for at least two days.
We expect your jaw will remain numb for several hours. We suggest that you begin taking the pain medication prescribed while your jaw is still numb or after you feel discomfort. If you begin to experience more than mild discomfort, we suggest you take your pain pills every 2 or 3 hours as necessary. If this is not adequate, you should contact this office for instructions.
Full dentures should not be worn over the implants until they have been properly adjusted. Every effort will be made to place the incision and implants in such a fashion that your existing denture can be relined and replaced the same day. This may not always be possible. In that case, dentures may have to be left out for 7-10 days until you are comfortable with them again. If they can be placed immediately, a soft reline by your restorative dentist will be necessary on the day of surgery. This should be arranged between the two offices at the time the surgical appointment is made.
These are to be treated the same as full dentures; that is, a reline maybe necessary.
Bridges that are cemented in place and cover the area where you have received an implant are often replaced at the time of the initial surgery. We may cement the bridge with a temporary cement and your restorative dentist will monitor and modify the fixed bridge as necessary through the healing period. Return to normal function following surgery will be faster when these bridges are replaced. The bridge affords protection to the implants while healing takes place.
Commercial mouthwash or other disinfectants should be avoided during the first week of healing. We suggest rinsing your mouth and oral wounds with salt water (1 tsp. salt in an 8 oz. glass of water) after each meal, beginning on the second post-operative day.
Bleeding into the tissues around the jaws may result in purplish bruises a few days following surgery. This is normal and these areas will become yellow and may move toward the neck and shoulders later.
A slight elevation in temperature can be expected on the evening of surgery. However, it should not exceed 101 Degrees F.
Wound infections may occur several days following surgery. One may be suspicious of an infection if there is a sudden increase in swelling, throbbing, pain, fever, or a foul taste or odor coming from the wound. If you suspect an infection you should call our office as soon as possible to schedule and evaluation.
Tobacco products have proven to decrease the success of osseointegrated dental implants. If you smoke, please discuss this with your surgeon prior to implant placement.
Your investment in dental implants reflects your commitment to improving your health, jaw function and appearance. We are equally committed to helping you preserve this investment by assisting you in any way we can, as well as monitoring the condition of your implants on a regular basis. Please schedule an appointment or call if any questions arise.Please call the office the morning after surgery so we may monitor your progress.