If you’ve decided to get dental implants, you are probably excited about what the final results will do for your smile. While you may be anxious for the procedure, many patients find it helpful to know what they can expect when they come home from dental implant surgery. You’ve probably heard that the healing process is critical to the final success of your dental implants. So the more you know and the more diligent you follow your aftercare instructions is important.
Here’s some general guidelines for post-operative care after your dental implants surgery:
Protect the Surgical Site
Do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery.
Expect Minor Bleeding
Slight bleeding or redness in the saliva is perfectly normal for the first 24 hours. Initial bleeding can be controlled by keeping the provided gauze pad in place. If excessive bleeding occurs or if bleeding persists longer than 24 hours, please call our office.
Swelling is a normal response to any type of surgery. You may experience swelling for several days with maximum swelling occurring 2-3 days after surgery. To minimize or control your swelling, you can place a cold compress (ice bag) on the affected area during the first 24 hours. Moist heat can be used after the first day.
Pay Attention to Your Diet
While it is very important that you avoid certain foods after implant surgery, you shouldn’t skip meals altogether. Proper nutrition is vital to the body’s healing process. On the day of surgery, stick to a liquid diet. The following days may include soft foods that are rich in proteins and vitamins, such as soft boiled eggs, yogurt, mashed potatoes, chopped meats and bland soups. Do NOT use a straw and try to avoid hot liquids/food. Drink often but eliminate carbonated beverages. Preserving the blood clot that forms after surgery is important.
Control the Pain
Some pain and discomfort can be expected. However, most patients can control their pain with over-the-counter medication such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol. Do NOT use aspirin.
Don’t Skip Your Antibiotics
Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as we direct you, as this will help prevent infection.
While it may seem like you should avoid brushing your teeth, good oral hygiene is very important during your recovery period. The first days of surgery, you may use the prescribed mouth rinse as instructed. Warm salt rinses may also be suggested. Gentle brushing of your teeth and the healing abutments is generally not a problem.
In the immediate days after implant surgery, it is advised to avoid vigorous exercise or physical activity that increases your heart rate and blood flow, as this can cause throbbing and bleeding at the surgical site.
Have more questions about what to expect when you get home from dental implant surgery? We’d love to share our knowledge. Don’t worry; we will go over a detailed list of instructions before your actual procedure and we are here to answer your questions if you need us once you are home. We want to do everything we can to facilitate an easy and successful healing period.