The following will cover important information regarding proper post-surgical care for dental implants. It is imperative that you follow these instructions carefully to maximize your healing and improve the long-term outcome of your dental implant(s).
Do NOT disturb the wound. Avoid touching the wound or spitting for a few days after surgery. There may be a metal cap slightly protruding through the gum tissue. Be very gentle with rinses and brushing. Avoid chewing or eating in the area. Implants and associated bone grafts depend on stability for success. The gentler you can be during the initial healing phase, the greater the chance of success.
Some bleeding or redness is normal for 24 hours. You can control excessive bleeding (where your mouth fills up rapidly with blood) by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues, please call the office for further instructions.
Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice pack (or a plastic bag or towel filled with ice) on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off, for the first 24 hours.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or foods. Soft foods and liquids can be consumed on the day of surgery. You may return to a normal diet after your follow-up with Dr. Curtis in 1 week.
Warm saltwater rinses can be made by mixing a ½ teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and should be used at least 4–5 times a day, especially after meals. Dr. Curtis will often provide a prescription for Peridex™, which is an antibiotic mouth rinse. That should be used twice daily for 1 week.
Brushing your teeth and the healing abutments is no problem. Be gentle initially with brushing the surgical areas. Expect some minor bleeding that will dissipate as your healing continues. For some procedures, you may have sutures. These will fall out after a week, or if permanent, we will remove them at your follow-up appointment.
Keep physical activities to a minimum for several days following surgery. Avoid bending over, heavy lifting, or straining. Keep in mind that you are probably not taking normal nourishment. This may weaken you and further limit your ability to exercise.