Immediate Postoperative Care
Care should be taken in the immediate postoperative period to minimize contact with the dental implant following a surgery to avoid bone resorption. Aside from routine hygiene, it is best to leave the implant alone for the first 2 weeks after placement.
Minimal bleeding is expected after implant surgery but bleeding after surgery may continue for several hours. The best way to stop bleeding is to fold 2 pieces of damp gauze over the site and gently bite for 30-60 minutes. Then, rest quietly with your head elevated. If bleeding continues, use gauze for an additional 30 minutes. Bleeding should always be evaluated by looking directly at the surgical site.
Pink or blood-tinged saliva may be seen for 2-3 days following the surgery and does not indicate a problem. The suture material may last 2 to 3 days and should be left alone. You will be asked to return to the office for a 2-week follow-up appointment.
Any sutures remaining at that time may be removed at the surgeon’s discretion. Do not pull or cut the sutures yourself.
Swelling is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and healing. The swelling will not become apparent until 24 hours after surgery and will not reach its peak for 2-3 days. After this time, the swelling should decrease but may persist for 7-10 days. The immediate use of ice packs may minimize swelling. Occasionally implants do fail to integrate and may require retreatment.
Apply the ice packs to the outside of the face 20 minutes on and then 20 minutes off while awake for the first 24 hours. After 48 hours, begin the use of a warm, moist compress on the cheek.
Medication / Pain
Unfortunately, most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort. If you do not have an allergy to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), we recommend taking this before the local anesthetic wears off. More severe pain may require narcotic pain medication.
While taking narcotic pain medication, you may not drive or operate mechanical machinery. In addition, the prescribed pain medication will make you drowsy. Once you can stop the narcotic, use Ibuprofen and Tylenol together as needed. All medication should NOT exceed the recommended dosage.
Discomfort should subside daily. If not, please call or text our office at 604-888-9468
*NOTE: If you are taking PLAVIX or COUMADIN, do NOT take Ibuprofen or Aspirin products.
While numb, patients should avoid hot liquids or foods. Instead, patients may have applesauce, smoothies, pudding, or Jell-O. Once the numbness wears off, patients can progress to solid foods, chewing away from the surgical sites.
Keeping your mouth clean is the best way to prevent infection and ensure healing. Clean your mouth thoroughly after each meal beginning the day after surgery. Use a soft bristle toothbrush and toothpaste after meals and at bedtime. Should bleeding resume after brushing, repeat the use of gauze as described above.
You should rest and relax for the first 48 hours with no physical activity. After 48 hours, you may resume activity as tolerated.
Bad breath is common and will disappear as healing occurs. Two to three days following surgery, white, possibly hard tissue may be seen on the surgical site. This signifies normal, healing tissue. It’s not unusual to see the silver healing cap appear through gum tissue following the procedure.
If an antibiotic is prescribed, take the tablets or liquid as directed. Take the entire prescription until gone. Antibiotics can be given to help prevent infection. Make sure to call the office if a rash or other unfavorable reaction occurs.
Foods to Drink and Eat While Numb
- Ice Chips
- Milkshake (no straw)
Add Soft Foods When Numbness is Gone
- Mashed Potatoes
- Creamed Cereals
- Soups (be careful-not too hot)
- Increase Diet as Tolerated
Things to Avoid for 48 hours
Having a dental implant is a large investment so maximize success by avoiding:
- Carbonated beverages and hot liquids. This is very important as these drinks can disturb the forming blood clot.
- Pomegranate and Grapefruit
- Raw food – Including Cookie dough and Sushi
- 4-day-old Leftovers
- Cheeses made with unpasteurized milk – Like Feta
We will note when your implant is ready for restoration. Typically, 12 weeks following implant placement is when we would book you back for the next step, placing a healing cap on your implant followed by a crown.