Surgical instructions after placement of dental implants
Most patients do not experience severe or significant post-operative pain after placement of dental implants. Pain medication and antibiotics will be prescribed for you to make your recovery as easy as possible.
Bite on the gauze provided to help stop the bleeding. Minimal bleeding may persist for up to 24 hours. If you are bleeding excessively, apply pressure by biting on a gauze pad for 30 minutes. It is not unusual for saliva to be slightly blood-tinged for several days following surgery. If excessive bleeding continues, call our office for further instructions.
You should have a soft food diet on the day of surgery. Soft foods include ice cream, pudding, jello, yogurt, soup (lukewarm), pancakes, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs and pasta. Avoid hard, crunchy foods such as chips that may disturb the surgical site for at least three days.
You may receive a prescription for an antibiotic and/or a pain reliever. You may fill these prescriptions at the pharmacy of your choice. Take all medications as instructed by your doctor.
Do not smoke for at least 3 days following surgery. Smoking can severely and adversely affect the healing and integration of dental implants. It is well documented in the surgical literature that smoking decreases the success rates of implants. Therefore, the longer you can go without smoking, the higher the chance of implant success.
Avoid all brushing, rinsing or spitting the day of the surgery. The day after your surgery, you may brush your teeth, but avoid brushing near the surgical site(s) for 3 days. Rinse with ½ cup warm water and a pinch of salt beginning 3 days after surgery. When directed by your surgeon, you can begin brushing the metal collar of the implant that sticks out through the gums. You should be able to keep the metal surface shiny without damaging it.
Your sutures dissolve on their own and may come out any time after surgery. You may notice that they are loose after the swelling of your gum tissue decreases. This is completely normal.
If you have been provided with an irrigator (small plastic syringe), you should begin using it on the third day after surgery near the surgical site after each meal and at bedtime. Fill the irrigator with lukewarm salt water and flush any food from around the implant.
Loose healing collars
If the metal healing collar attached to your implant becomes loose or falls off, notify us immediately. Although this is a rare occurrence, it can often be replaced without any additional numbing or surgery if it is caught right away. However, over several days, the gum tissue can begin to grown over the implant if the collar is lost, and this would require trimming back the gum tissue in order to replace the healing collar.
You may be asked to return to our office for a post-operative follow-up visit 10 to 14 days following surgery. There is no additional charge for this follow-up visit. Please make every effort to return to have your surgical sites examined for proper healing.
If any unusual symptoms should occur, you may reach one of our doctors 24 hours a day at (314) 533-5858.
West County: (314) 434-0493