ORAL HYGIENE – Good oral hygiene is critical for the success and functionality of your dental implants and restoration. The best way to prevent infection and ensure proper healing is to keep your mouth clean. Beginning the day after surgery, clean your mouth thoroughly after each meal.
- Brushing: Use a soft toothbrush and toothpaste after meals and bedtime. Do not avoid the implant/bone graft areas unless otherwise instructed.
- Waterpik: DO NOT use a Waterpik until you have been directed to do so by your surgeon.
BLEEDING – The best way to stop bleeding is to place a damp piece of gauze in the mouth and gently bite for 30 minutes. Rest quietly with your head elevated. If bleeding continues, use gauze for an additional 30 minutes. Pink or blood-tinged saliva is not uncommon for 2-3 days following surgery and does not indicate a problem. Suture material may last 2-3 weeks and should be left alone. You will be scheduled for a follow-up appointment in 2 weeks, where any remaining sutures may be removed at your surgeon’s discretion. DO NOT pull or cut your sutures.
SWELLING – Swelling is your body’s normal reaction to surgery and part of the healing process. Typically, swelling does not become apparent until 24 hours post-surgery and will reach its peak 2-3 days later. After this time, the swelling should decrease but can persist for 7-10 days. Swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. When you are awake, apply alternately 20 minutes on/20 minutes off to the outside of your face for the first 24 hours. After 48 hours, begin to use warm moist compresses to the outside of your cheek.
MEDICATION/PAIN – Unless you have different instructions or medications from the surgeon, take non-narcotic pain medications, Motrin, and Tylenol as directed. Remember that the use of narcotic pain medications can slow reflexes, make you groggy, and make driving or operating machinery dangerous. If pain or swelling increases after the first 3 days, call our office.
We recommend the following pain regiment:
Tylenol 325mg – 3hr →Motrin 600mg – 3 hr →Tylenol 325mg – 3 hr →Motrin 600mg
*NOTE* – DO NOT take the above medications if you are allergic or have been instructed by your physician not to take them. If you are taking PLAVIX or COUMADIN, DO NOT take Ibuprofen or Aspirin products.
DIET – After general anesthetic or IV sedation, start your diet with liquids. While you are numb, avoid hot liquids and all foods. Because your food intake will be limited for the first few days, compensate for this by increasing your fluid intake. We recommend high-protein shakes/smoothies (Ensure, Special K, etc.) as meal replacement during the first few days. Patients are restricted to a soft chew diet for 6 weeks following implant surgery. If food cannot be easily cut with a fork, DO NOT eat it!
ACTIVITY – Rest and relax with no physical activity for the first 3 days after surgery. If your surgery involves a sinus precaution, your surgeon will give you special instructions to protect your sinus and ensure proper healing.
FOOD SUGGESTIONS – We recommend a SOFT CHEW diet for the first 6 weeks.
- If the corners of your mouth are stretched, they may dry and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with an ointment such as Vaseline.
- Sore throats and pain upon swallowing are not uncommon because muscles used in swallowing can have some swelling and become painful. This should subside within 2-3 days.
- Stiffness of the jaw muscles may cause you some difficulty in opening your mouth for a few days. Do not force your mouth open. You may gently massage facial muscles and apply warm/moist compresses.
- With upper jaw treatment, you may develop bleeding from the nose that is temporary and typically subsides in 2-3 days. Follow sinus precautions, if applicable.
Because no two mouths are alike, we know that your case is individual, which is why we are always happy to discuss any questions or concerns about your treatment.