Dental implant surgery is easier and less painful than ever before, but you don’t want to go through it for nothing. Taking the right steps after this kind of surgery can help you ensure success. And at Brighton Dental in San Diego, Dr. Paige Woods and our entire team want the best for you.
After having dental implant surgery, keep these things in mind:
Don’t disturb the implant site. Full integration of the implant takes a month or more, so it’s important that you follow your prescribed patient care routine without disturbing the site any more than necessary. The implant needs time to integrate with the bone, and the surrounding tissue must heal. The first few days after surgery are crucial, and you should avoid spitting, touching the area, swishing or rinsing vigorously during this time. Treat the site with even more care during the first 24 hours to make sure there is no irritation, contamination or infection.
Take your medicine as prescribed. You can be sure that we won’t prescribe any medications that aren’t absolutely necessary. Antibiotics may be necessary to prevent infection. You may also be prescribed a rinse to use regularly after the first day or two, and rinsing with warm salt water after meals and at several other times each day can help keep the area clean – once Dr. Woods tells you it’s OK to start rinsing.
Control bleeding. It’s perfectly normal to notice blood in your saliva for the first day or so after dental implant surgery. In the first few hours after the procedure, biting on gauze may be recommended to help control bleeding, if necessary. Maintaining constant pressure for up to 15 minutes and then repeating often can bring an end to bleeding.
Keep any pain at bay. Pain is possible once the local anesthetic from the surgery wears off. Your best bet is to take an over-the-counter pain medicine like Tylenol to control any discomfort. Aleve and Advil can be used, but they can thin the blood and worsen bleeding. Aspirin is not recommended. We may prescribe something stronger if we believe it will be necessary.
Eat a soft, sensible diet. In a few days, you can slowly resume your usual diet, but it makes sense to start out eating only soft foods. Don’t chew while you’re still numb or you risk injury to your cheek, tongue or possibly the implant site. Be sure you stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and other non-carbonated beverages. Maintaining overall health by eating as well as possible and drinking plenty of liquids helps you heal as quickly as possible.
Practice good hygiene. It will help a lot with healing if you keep your entire mouth clean. That means brushing and flossing as normal wherever possible – but avoiding any stitches and the surgical site itself. In addition to saltwater rinses, we may suggest or prescribe other rinses to make sure your mouth stays as clean as possible.
Deal with any swelling. There may not be much swelling, but some swelling after dental implant surgery is expected and normal. Keeping your head elevated can help reduce swelling, and so can limiting activity and using ice packs for the first 48 hours. After that, using moist heat can help with swelling – although swelling after the first few days isn’t common.
Learn more about what you should and shouldn’t do after dental implant surgery elsewhere on this website. You can also learn about many other dental and oral health procedures on our site.
And contact us right away if you have questions or concerns. We’re here every step of the way – and we want you to heal quickly and properly.