Proper care after implant surgery

The ultimate success of your implants depends upon your active cooperation and participation in treatment and care after surgery. These guidelines instruct you in proper care following the placement of your implants. The first 2 weeks after surgery are the most important.

Diet for single implant
Do not eat on implant site. Cold soft foods are recommended on the day of surgery. You may progress to a normal diet chewing with your natural teeth starting the day after surgery.

Diet for multiple implants
Clear, preferably cool liquids should be taken on the day of surgery. A bland, mild temperature, nutritionally balanced, liquid to very soft diet should be adhered to during the first 2 weeks. This will prevent food particles, which could cause infection, from entering the surgical site. After the first 2 weeks, a progression to soft food will be discussed.

Some oozing of blood is expected from the surgical site for the first few hours. Your saliva may be tinges with blood for the remainder of the day. If bleeding becomes persistent, apply direct pressure with a clean gauze pack or a moistened tea bag for 10 minutes. If this effort does not stop the bleeding you should contact the office.

Swelling can be minimized by keeping you head elevated with the use of 2 pillows when lying down. Application of ice packs over the surgical areas during the first 48 hours will reduce swelling.

Your jaw and lip may remain numb for approximately 6 hours. Ideally, pain medication should be consumed with food. While you are still numb, drink water, juice, Gatorade or a milkshake before taking any pain medication. Begin your pain medication while you are still numb to prevent the onset of pain. If you should begin to experience more than mild discomfort, you make take the medication every 3-4 hours as necessary. If this is not adequate, you should contact the office. In certain instances antibiotics may be prescribed. When prescribed, begin 6 hours after surgery and complete prescription as recommended.

Recovery Restrictions
If you were sedated, DO NOT drive a vehicle or operate complicated machinery or devices, or make important decisions such as signing documents for the first 24 hours. Smoking should also be avoided as it retards healing. However, if it is not possible to quit smoking completely, try to severely limit your smoking during the first 2 weeks for this time period.

Blowing Nose
Do not blow your nose during the first 2 weeks if you have an implant placed in the upper jaw.

A prescription rinse (Peridex) may be recommended after surgery. Peridex rinse may cause staining that is easily removed with a dental cleaning. To clean surgical areas, you may rinse your mouth with room temperature salt water (1 tablespoon of salt in a 20 ounce water bottle). Use a portion of this mixture to rinse after each meal or snack. Vigorous rinsing should be avoided. For non-surgical areas, routine dental hygiene should resume the evening of surgery.

A slight elevation in temperature is common on the evening of surgery, but should not exceed 101 degrees F. If this happens please contact the office.

Infections may occur a day or even several days following surgery. A sudden increase in swelling, throbbing pain, high fever and/or a foul tasting drainage may indicate infection. If you suspect an infection, you should call the office as soon as possible.

Bleeding into the tissue around the jaws may cause purplish bruises a few days following the surgery. Do not be alarmed. Some patients bruise more than others. These areas will become yellowish as the resolve.

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