As dental implant placement is an invasive surgery, we have provided some post-operative instructions to help you care for your implants properly in the days following placement. This will help ensure that you heal properly and without complications. If you have questions about these instructions, and if you would like to schedule your appointment with Dr. Joseph Fullmer, our oral and maxillofacial surgoen in Salt Lake City, Utah, please contact Aspire Surgical at 801-487-3264 to speak with a member of our team.
For the first hour after your implant surgery, bite down gently but firmly on the gauze packs placed over the surgical site. You may gently remove them after this hour is past. If active bleeding persists, place new gauze, and continue to apply gentle pressure for another 30 minutes. Change the gauze as needed (about every 30-45 minutes). We advise moistening the gauze with water and loosely fluffing it for more comfortable positioning.
Do not disturb the surgical site for at least 24 hours after your procedure. Do not rinse vigorously or probe the area with objects. Brush your teeth gently and avoid disturbing the surgical site.
Do NOT smoke for at least 48 hours.
Keeping your mouth clean after your procedure is critical. We recommend using a solution of warm saltwater solution to gently rinse your mouth (1/4 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water is the proper mixture). Rinse your mouth with this solution after each meal and at bedtime.
We also recommend the application of warm compresses to swollen areas at 20-minute intervals. This will sooth tender areas and decrease swelling and stiffness.
After your implant surgery, pay close attention to your mouth, and contact our office if you notice any problems. Here are some things you can watch out for and do to care for your mouth:
- Persistent Bleeding – If you experience severe bleeding, it is mostly likely caused by clenching the gauze packs between only the teeth, rather than over the surgical site. Try repositioning them to stop the bleeding. If this fails, or if bleeding becomes severe, try substituting a team bag. Soak the bag in hot water and squeeze it until it is damp. Then wrap it in moist gauze and place it over the surgical site for 20-30 minutes. If bleeding still does not stop, contact our practice as soon as possible.
- Oozing – You can expect intermitted bleeding or oozing overnight following your procedure. We recommend placing fresh gauze and gently biting down for 30-45 minute intervals.
- Swelling – Swelling is common following surgery. You can reduce swelling by placing a cold pack or an ice pack to the cheek over the surgical site. For the best results, apply the cold pack for 20 minute intervals for the first 24 hours after your procedure.
- Pain – You will experience discomfort as a result of your surgery. Our doctor will prescribe pain medication for your use We recommend that you take your first dose before the anesthetic from your treatment wears off, as this will help you manage your discomfort more effectively. We also recommend that you take your medication with food to prevent nausea. The most severe pain usually occurs within the first 6 hours after the anesthetic has worn off. After this time has passed, your need for medication should lessen. If you find that you are taking a large amount of pain medication at frequent intervals, contact our office immediately. We also ask that you contact our office during weekday business hours for a refill if you anticipate needing more medicine over the weekend.
- Nausea – Nausea is a common aftereffect of surgery. Sometimes nausea is caused by pain medication, and can be avoided or mitigated by taking the pain pill with food and a large glass of water. You should continue to drink clear fluids and minimize your dose of medication as you heal, but if you continue to feel nauseous please contact our office.
- Diet – Avoid hot foods, and do not use a straw for the first few days after your surgery. We advise that you eat soft, nourishing foods (such as soups, puddings, yogurt, and milk shakes). Do not eat foods that could lodge in the sockets of your implants. Foods to avoid include popcorn, nuts, and sunflower seeds. Over the course of several days, slowly return to eating solid foods.
- Sharp Edges – If you feel something hard or sharp in the areas of your surgery, it is probably the bone walls that supported your extracted teeth. You may feel small slivers of bone working themselves out in the week or so following your procedure. If they become a cause for concern or great discomfort, please contact our office.
If you have questions about our post-operative care instructions, please call or visit our office.