List of Post-Operative Instructions
After you've had dental implant surgery, it is important that you follow a series of instructions in order to promote the best possible healing. First and foremost, avoid disturbing the wound, and to do this, you shouldn't rinse, spit, or touch the wound for the first 24 hours after surgery.
BleedingIt is perfectly normal to experience bleeding and pink or red-colored saliva for the first 24 hours following your surgery. If you are experiencing excessive bleeding where your mouth fills up quickly with blood, you can work to control it by biting down on a gauze pad that is placed directly onto the wound. Do this for 30 minutes. If the bleeding continues after this time period, apply pressure to the site using a moist tea bag (use black tea) for an additional 30 minutes. If severe bleeding continues, please call our office for further guidance.
SwellingSwelling is also common after your dental implant surgery. To minimize swelling, you can apply an ice pack onto the cheek outside the area where you had our surgery. Do this as much as possible within the first 24 hours, and it can also be helpful to lay with your head elevated for the first three days in order to further reduce swelling.
PainStaying ahead of the pain is important, so you should take your first dose of pain medication before the local anesthetic has worn off. If you are experiencing moderate pain, Tylenol can be used every 3-4 hours, or if you prefer, you can take ibuprofen every 4-6 hours.
If you are experiencing severe pain, use your prescribed medications as directed. Never take more than recommended, and always follow the instructions outlined by Dr. Waring
Diet and NutritionFollowing your surgery, it is important to drink plenty of fluids, but avoid hot liquids. Soft foods should be consumed immediately following surgery, and after the first day, you can begin to return to your normal diet unless Dr. Waring instructs you otherwise.
Oral HygieneProper oral hygiene is crucial for healing. After your surgery, be sure to use the oral rinse that has been prescribed to you, and start using this rinse twice daily the day following your procedure. Swish with the rinse for at least 30 seconds, and you can also use warm salt water rinses several times a day, especially after eating. While you can brush your teeth around the abutments as they heal, but be sure to be gentle.
ActivityImmediately following surgery, you should plan to rest and keep physical activity at a minimum for the first 72 hours. If you exercise, bleeding and throbbing may occur. You should also remember that you probably are not getting adequate nourishment throughout your recovery, so trying to exercise could even be dangerous.
Wearing Your ProsthesisYou should avoid wearing your dentures or flippers right after your surgery, and keep them out of your mouth for at least 10 days post-op. Dr. Waring will specify exactly when it is safe to begin wearing these appliances again.
Read more about Dental Implants.
Recovery after a tooth extraction should only last for a couple of days, but there are certain steps that you can take to speed up the healing process.
BleedingAfter your extraction, a blood clot should form in order to stop the bleeding and initiate the healing process. For this reason, you’ll be asked to bite onto a gauze pad for up to 45 minutes following the appointment. If the bleeding continues after this time period, apply pressure to the site using a moist tea bag (use black tea) for an additional 30 minutes. You might need to do this several times before the bleeding stops.
The blood clot is essential in the healing process, so it is important that you don’t do anything to dislodge or disrupt it. Not only will healing be delayed, but you can also cause the wound to start bleeding again. To protect the clot:
Pain and SwellingAfter you have gone through an extraction, you will likely experience some pain and discomfort along with swelling. Try using an icepack or a bag of frozen vegetables in order to deal with the swelling, as you can place it along the side of your face. Swelling should usually go away within 48 hours of your procedure.
If you are prescribed any pain medication, it is important to take it as prescribed. If you notice that the medication isn't working as it was intended, feel free to call our office. You may also need to take antibiotics, and if they were prescribed, be sure to take them for the entire duration as instructed, even if your symptoms of infection go away before you've finished.
Other Tips for Caring for Your MouthEven if you are able to control the bleeding, pain, and swelling, there are a few other steps that you’ll need to take in order to promote healing:
If you are experiencing severe pain, swelling, or heavy bleeding for 2-3 days after your procedure, or if you think you are reacting poorly to the medication you were prescribed, please call our office right away. Likewise, if your child goes through an extraction and experiences any of these symptoms or vomiting, nausea, and fever, be sure to contact us immediately.
Read more about Tooth Extractions.