Post-Operative Instructions: Dental Implants

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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 implants.

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; do NOT chew anything with that metal cap as that will cause the implant to fail.

Some bleeding or redness is normal for 24 hours. You can control excessive bleeding (where your mouth fills up rapidly with blood) by gently 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, as much as possible, for the first 36 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 1–2 days after surgery unless otherwise directed.

Warm salt water 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.

Brushing your teeth and the healing abutments is recommended to promote healing. Be gentle initially with brushing the surgical areas. Do NOT use an electric toothbrush around the implants for 3–4 months, as the vibrations can disturb bone formation around the implant.

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.

Sinus precautions: If advised, please follow the following for at least 2 weeks after surgery. Do NOT blow your nose; if you have to sneeze, sneeze with your mouth open. No smoking. Use decongestants like SUDAFED®, Afrin®, or Flonase® to aid with your comfort.

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