Postoperative Instructions for Implants

The second stage of implants cannot be implemented until the gum, jawbone and operative site is healed.  So, following guidelines to hasten the healing process will be a way to hasten the completion of the implant procedure.

Mouth rinses devoid of alcoholic content should be used from the first day of surgery and used often, especially after each meal.  Using a toothbrush as usual helps to maintain proper oral hygiene.

Smoking impedes the healing process.  While many dentists may advise postponing smoking for at least 2-3 days after surgery, eliminating it from social habits would be much more beneficial.  Consider entering a smoking cessation program or plan prior to implant surgery so that tobacco dependence is not an issue.

Your diet is limited to liquids for the first 48 hours after implant surgery is started so that food debris is not lodged microscopically in the operative site and doesn’t contaminate the area.  A normal diet can be reinstituted depending upon your healing and any inflammation that may be present.

Daily vitamins, supplements and rest will encourage the healing process along aver surgery.

Mild bleeding or oozing after surgery is not unusual and gauze, which was inserted over the operative site, might need to be changed several times in the first 4 hours.  However, if active bleeding seems to be occurring, talking it over with the dental surgeon would be prudent.

Pain is a very subjective sensation.  For some, pain is not felt unless major surgery is performed; for others a small paper cut is agony. Therefore, the intensity of pain is not a reflection of the success of implant surgery or an ominous sign of complications developing. (although it can be!)

If pain is occurring, there are nonprescription analgesics that can eliminate or greatly diminish discomfort.  However, if the pain is unbearable despite the analgesics, the reconstructive dentist who performed the surgery should be informed.  An examination to rule out any developing problems might be necessary at this point.  If everything is deemed normal in terms of healing, a stronger analgesic can then be prescribed.

Cold or Ice pack application for the first 2 days after surgery can decrease any swelling or hematoma (blood collections) formation. Using the pack as prevention prior to edema (swelling) may keep this from occurring.

If general anesthesia was administered for the procedure, the elimination of it from your body may take 24-36 hours.  Therefore, no driving or usage of heavy machinery is prudent.  If the procedure was done with injections of needles, soreness may be present at the site of the injections.

Understanding and following these guidelines will decrease anxiety and help you on the road to recovery.