Dental Implants – Post Surgery Care
- It is normal to have some bleeding following dental implant placement. It is, however, usually less than with other surgeries in the mouth. A folded piece of gauze should be placed over the implant site and bite with firm pressure for 30-45 minutes. Repeat if necessary.
- Swelling following dental implant surgery is normal. It will increase until the third day after surgery. Ice packs placed on the side of surgery for 15 minutes at a time will help minimize the swelling. This is usually only helpful for the first 24-48 hours after surgery. Sleeping with your head slightly elevated will also help prevent the swelling from settling in the cheeks.
- Dental Implant surgery is usually less painful than extractions or other surgical procedures in the mouth.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are a good way to control post-operative pain and swelling if you are not allergic or intolerant. Start taking Motrin (Ibuprofen) as prescribed immediately after surgery and as often as allowed during the first two days after surgery. It can be taken at the same time as prescribed narcotics and will often work better when combined with either the narcotic or Tylenol. Since Ibuprofen can also help prevent swelling it is recommended to continue this for mild discomfort after narcotic use has ended.
- Prescribed Narcotic Pain Medicine: If the Motrin does not control the discomfort alone, take the prescribed narcotic as well. The two drugs can be taken together. You should not drive or make important decisions while taking the narcotic pain medicine. Common side effects of narcotic pain medicine include nausea and vomiting, constipation and dizziness.
- It is important to drink lots of fluids to replenish your body after fasting.
- Soft foods will be more comfortable while you are healing during the first few days: eggs, soups, soft pasta, meatloaf, mashed potatoes, ice cream, shakes, etc.
- Start brushing normally 24 hours after surgery. Be gentle in the area of the wound. Do not disturb the stitches. If they are dissolvable, they will fall out on their own within a few days.
- There may be a metal cylinder slightly protruding through the gum tissue. This is a connecting abutment and should be brushed just like a tooth once the gums have healed around it. It should be kept free of plaque and bacteria to keep the implant below it healthy.