POST-OP CARE INSTRUCTIONS AFTER IMPLANT OR BONE GRAFT SURGERY

Bleeding:

  • Bite down gently but firmly and constantly on a folded piece of gauze over the surgical site for 1 hour after your procedure. The gauze pack should be big enough so that your teeth do not touch when biting down to make sure there is pressure over the area.
  • If bleeding persists after 1 hour, place a new piece of folded gauze over the site for another 30 to 45 minutes and repeat as needed. Do NOT change the gauze too frequently as this will pull off the clot and stimulate bleeding.
  • It is common to have some mild oozing or spotting for up to 24 to 48 hours.
  • If bleeding still persists, bite more firmly on the gauze moistened with water or soaked in strong, regular black tea
  • (which contains tannic acid that helps with clotting) for an additional hour and make sure the gauze is positioned directly over the surgical area.
  • If bleeding does not decrease with pressure, please call the office immediately.
  • Do not sleep or eat with gauze in your mouth
  • Keep your head slightly elevated the first day while lying down (head above the heart)

Wound Care: 

  • Do not disturb the surgical area for at least 48 hours. Aggressive swishing, spitting, manipulation, or the use of straws within 48 hours can disturb or tear open the wound area and prolong bleeding which will delay healing.
  • You may brush other areas the night after surgery, but stay away from the surgical site for 1 week.
  • If bleeding is well controlled after 24 hours, begin rinsing gently with salt water (1/2 tsp of table salt in 8 ounces of warm water) and allow the water to fall out or drip into the sink. Rinse gently after all meals and after brushing for 2 weeks.
  • If you have been given a prescription for (Peridex) mouthwash , start using the day after surgery, as directed. Do not use Peridex longer than advised because long term use may cause persistent brownish staining of the teeth.
  • If your surgeon placed a silver healing cap or abutment over the dental implant, you may begin cleaning the abutment after 24 hours with a Q-tip moistened with tap water and with a small amount of toothpaste. It is important to keep the abutment clean to allow proper healing of the surrounding gum tissue.
  • Avoid using a WaterPik®, electric toothbrush, peroxide, or other OTC mouthwashes for 2 weeks.

Diet:

  • Be careful of eating and drinking until your local anesthesia has worn off as you may spill or accidentally bite your lip or tongue.
  • For the first week, your diet should be SOFT or SQUISHY. Avoid anything too hot or spicy.
  • You should NOT chew on the implant cap, bone graft, or surgical site!

​Preventing Swelling & Bruising: 

  • Swelling and bruising are normal after oral surgery and usually peaks by day 2 or 3. Then it usually takes 4-5 days to slowly go away. You may reduce swelling as much as possible by icing and limiting your physical activity for the first 48 hours. Ice early and often--15 minutes on and 15 minutes off.
  • Avoid heavy lifting, exercise, or other strenuous activity for at least 1 week.
  • You may switch to moist heat after 48 hours. Heat is more effective than ice after 48 hours.
  • Bruising may be more noticeable after 3 days and be more profound if you're taking aspirin or other blood thinners. Bruising slowly disappears and the use of warm compresses in the area will speed up resolution.

Antibiotics:

  • Take any antibiotic tablets as directed until the prescription is finished to prevent infection.
  • If you are take birth control pills, antibiotics are known to block them from working. You should use back-up birth control methods for 1 month after surgery as a precaution.

Preventing Discomfort: 

  • Some discomfort may be expected after surgery with the most discomfort happening within the first 48 hours. This should decrease after the first 2-3 days.
  • BEFORE the local anesthetic injection wears off, you may take your non-narcotic pain medication, i.e. Motrin, Advil, or ibuprofen.
  • If your discomfort is not controlled, you may take a stronger prescription pain medication, i.e. Norco.
  • Medications like ibuprofen/ Advil/ Motrin are different from Tylenol or Norco (which contains Tylenol). So these can be taken at the same time or overlapped. You should NOT take Tylenol and Norco at the same time however since they both contain Tylenol (acetaminophen). You could overdose on this ingredient if you do so.
  • You must NOT drive, operate heavy machinery, drink alcohol or take other sedative medications while taking the prescription pain medication.

For Socket Bone Grafts:

  • Bone graft products feel like small, sand-like particles and some may leak out during the first week. This is to be expected and not a cause for concern.
  • To prevent excessive amounts of bone graft particles from becoming dislodged:
    • Do not rinse vigorously for the first week after surgery. Rinse and swirl only in a gentle fashion.
    • Do not touch or scrape the graft area as the material is movable during the first week or two
    • Do not eat sharp or crusty foods that may scrape or dig into the graft area.
    • Do not pull on your lip to examine the surgical site or probe the area with your tongue, or any objects or your fingers. The stitches may loosen or the incision may open which can jeopardize and delay the healing of the graft or implant.

If You Have a Denture or Prostheses: 

  • If you wear a "flipper" or denture, keep it out until the bleeding has stopped and your local anesthesia has worn off.
  • A denture / prosthesis should not touch the gum over the surgical site or put pressure on the dental implant. If so, it can cause the wound to open or put pressure on the implant which is trying to heal.
  • If you have any problems with the fit, do NOT force it or try to wear the device until you are seen for follow up or until your dentist has adjusted it.

Remember These Important Points: 

  • Do NOT drive, operate heavy machinery, or make important decisions for 24 hours if you have had IV sedation or general anesthesia.
  • Do NOT smoke as it increases the risk of infection, poor healing, and graft or implant failure.
  • Do NOT use a straw or drink carbonated liquids for the first 3 days.
  • Do NOT stretch your lip or cheek daily to examine the surgical site as this may lead to wound breakdown.
  • Keep your lips and comers of your mouth moist with Vaseline® to prevent cracking.
  • It may be difficult to chew and open your mouth due to tightness of the jaw muscles. This should disappear within 7 days. A continued soft diet, warm compresses, and OTC pain relievers may be helpful.

Remember These Important Points:

  • We will see you in 1 to 2 weeks after your implant or bone graft procedure to check on your healing, your hygiene, and possibly to remove sutures.
  • Please call the office at (602) 956-9560 with any questions


 


 

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