Consumer Guide: Post-Implant Placement & Caring for your Implant
Congratulations! You are well on your way to transforming your smile for life with dental implants. We would like to thank you for choosing us to perform your surgical procedure with 1st Family Dental. We have provided some basic instructions to make your post-implant recovery as comfortable as possible. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office and a member of our team will return your call in a timely fashion.
If you have a denture, do not wear complete or partial dentures until your doctor gives you permission to do so. If a temporary tooth was placed on your implant today, it is critical that you do not bite on this tooth until your it has healed and your dentist has confirmed it is OK to use your denture.
Occasionally, the cover screw or healing abutment may loosen or fall out. This should not affect the stability of your implant. It is important, however, to call us as soon as possible so we can replace it for you.
It is absolutely essential that all follow-up appointments be kept. Routine follow-up appointments allow us to identify potential problems that could complicate your recovery.
Some degree of discomfort and pain arises post-implant as the numbness subsides. We recommend that you start taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory once you arrive home. Advil/Ibuprofen/Motrin are such medications and should be taken as directed on the bottle (usually 600 mg every 4-6 hours). If you are unable to take anti-inflammatory medications, take Tylenol or acetaminophen as directed on the bottle (usually 650 mg -1000 mg every 6 hours). If the pain is not relieved, then you may take the prescribed pain medication as directed. All pain medications have the ability to cause severe nausea and vomiting, so try to have some food in your stomach before you take them.
Do not wait for the pain to become unbearable before using some form of pain medication, as then it will be more difficult to control. Moderate to severe pain usually does not last longer than 24-72 hours, sometimes peaking on the 3rd postoperative day. Relief should begin on the 4th post-operative day.
Expect minor bleeding or oozing from the operative site. This bleeding may continue throughout the first day. Keep firm pressure on the surgical site by biting on a gauze sponge for 30 minutes at a time until bleeding subsides. Once the oozing has slowed down, try to avoid placing gauze or any other irritant near the surgical site as this can lead to further bleeding and discomfort. Biting on a moist tea bag wrapped in gauze may help control persistent oozing.
If active bleeding should recur at any time, carefully rinse your mouth with cold water and apply a fresh gauze sponge to the bleeding site. Firm pressure for 15-30 minutes usually controls the issue. Should active bleeding persist, please call the office and a member of our surgical team will return your call promptly.
The Surgical Site
The first stages of healing are aided by allowing tissues to rest. Avoid vigorous chewing, excessive spitting, or rinsing for the first 24 hours as initial healing may be delayed, active bleeding restarted, or infection introduced.
Try to avoid smoking completely, as it tends to slow the healing process and may also contribute to infection and prolonged discomfort.
Do not worry about the stitches if they start to come out. Some sutures placed dissolve and do not require removal, other require removal in our office (you will be informed what type were placed).
Swelling: Swelling usually develops during the first 12-24 hours following surgery, often peaking on the 3rd post-operative day. Swelling can be minimized by placing an ice pack on the affected side at 30 minute intervals during the first 48 hours after surgery.
Any swelling, soreness, or stiffness in the jaw muscles can be relieved by applying a warm moist towel to the affected side of the face several times a day. Moist heat should be used only after the first 48 hours.
Activity: Limit activity during the first 24-48 hours after surgery. Excessive exertion may lead to postoperative bleeding and discomfort. When you lie down, keep your head elevated at least 45 degrees on a pillow.
Do not drive an automobile for 24 hours following surgery if you are taking prescription pain medication.
Fluid intake is very important. You can advance to soft foods and other fluids as tolerated. Please avoid hot liquids until the numbness has worn off, and the bleeding has stopped.
Food selection is largely a matter of your choice. Soft, cool foods that require little or no chewing are most easily tolerated. Protein and calcium aid in healing.
Oral Hygiene: Start cleaning your mouth 24 hours after surgery by using warm salt water rinses (1/4 teaspoon table salt with a small cup of water). Repeat 3 times daily for one week. BRUSH your teeth starting on the first postoperative day being careful not to irritate the surgical site.
Take any regularly scheduled medication on your regular schedule unless otherwise advised by your physician. Patients taking blood-thinners (i.e. Coumadin) should restart those medications after surgery unless there is any sign of continued bleeding.
Maintaining Your Dental Implant
Dental implants can and should last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance. It is critical that you follow your dentist’s instructions regarding oral hygiene routines, and any special considerations regarding care, maintenance and upkeep of the crown, denture or other prosthetic that is attached to your implant(s).
Regular 6 month checkup and cleanings are the best possible way to help make sure your implant as well as your whole mouth are healthy so that you can expect peak performance from your dental implant and any other dental work.
If you have any questions or concerns about your dental implant, the healing process, or any concerns at all about the post-surgical or healing process, please contact your local 1st Family Dental office to speak with your dentist.
What Our Patients Say…
At 1st Family Dental, we treat you like family. You can expect to be treated by a team of well-trained, experienced, dental professionals that are here to serve you. Our goal is to restore your smile so you can get back to living and enjoying your life the way you want.
“Thanks to Dr Abboud and his personnel for the exemplary care I received. Before my consultation,Dr. Abboud spoke with my dentist in Poland in order to fully understand the type of implant procedure I had in Poland. This is probably not a required practice for dentists, but Dr. Abboud took the time and for this I am very appreciative.” – Jadwiga T. – Yelp
“Dr. Adams explained all my options in detail and even repeated the processes to me so that I knew the pros and cons of each decision based on 1st my overall health, and secondly my financial ability. I never felt he was attempting just to sell me a product or service. Dr. Adams is exceptional.” – Michael W. – Yelp