After Placement of Dental Implants

DENTAL IMPLANT CARE

Try not to disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound for the first week, especially on the day of surgery.  There will be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue, that protects the implant as its osteointegrating.  Despite your best efforts to avoid the implant area, on rare occasions, these protective metal healing covers can loosen.  If so, please contact us as soon as possible so we can re-tighten the healing abutment.

BLEEDING

Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for the first few days hours, however with each passing day, the bleeding should subside.  On rare occasional due to increased blood pressure or untreated high blood pressure, excessive bleeding may be noted.  This can be easily controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 1 hour.  If bleeding continues please call for further instructions.

SWELLING

Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery, as its the body’s natural healing mechanism. The majority of the swelling will not appear until at least 3-5 days after surgery.  This is why for the first 2 days we recommend applying the provided compression dressing with refreezable ice pack, to the cheek area; in order to prevent the eventual swelling.  Apply the ice continuously, as much as possible, for the first 48 hours.  The more the better!

DIET

Drink plenty of fluids, as one of the most common causes of post-op nausea is DEHYDRATION. Avoid very hot liquids or food as you may still be numb from the local anesthesia and may burn yourself!  Typically a liquid, soft, non-chewing diet should be eaten for the first week, in order to reduce the chance of traumatizing the surgical site.  You may return to a normal diet after your first post-op appointment with Dr. Kachele.   If in doubt, give us a call.

Pain

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 3-4 hours. Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may be taken instead of Tylenol. Ibuprofen bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 2-3 tablets may be taken four times daily, not to exceed 3200mg daily for an adult. Consult our practice for individuals under 18. Do not take the two medications at the same time.

For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed. Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic to them, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call the office.

Antibiotics

In certain cases we may provide you with antibiotics prior to surgery.  Please take as directed to help prevent infection after surgery.

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. In certain instances, we may have you rinse with a prescription mouthwash called “Peridex”.  Studies show a reduction in the incidence of post-op infections with the use of this mouthwash.  After surgery, Peridex should be used after each meal to maintain good oral hygiene and to remove any residual food debris that may later lead to infections. Be sure to rinse for 20- 30 seconds then gently tilt you head over the sink to allow the mouthwash to spill out.  Warm salt water rinses (a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) can be used instead, if the Peridex or other over-the-counter mouth washes are not available.  Gently brushing the remaining teeth should not be an issue as long as you avoid the surgical site.

Activity

Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. Keep in mind that you are probably not taking in normal nourishment. This may weaken you and further limit your ability to exercise.

Wearing your Prosthesis

Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures, should not be used immediately after surgery for at least 10 days, as discussed in the pre-operative consultation.