After Dental Implant Surgery
Caring for your mouth after implant placement is important to success. First the don’ts:
- Do not chew on the implant or try to “test” it by biting anything on it.
- Do not brush the immediate area or disturb the implant or soft tissue or bone graft
- Do not brush, rinse or spit aggressively to avoid disturbing the wound
Now the proper things to do:
Antibiotics are a necessary part of the post-operative care. The implant, bone and soft tissue is at risk until healing has progressed. Antibiotics should not be taken on an empty stomach to avoid gastric irritation. Antibiotic rinses are useful for some surgery and salt water is also effective. (1 tsp salt in ½ glass of water)
Pain is a natural post-operative condition and pain medications are helpful to making your life bearable for the ensuing hours or few days. You should take your pain medications as soon as possible after surgery. It is always easier to prevent pain than to take it down after it has started. Again take medications with some food in your stomach.
Bleeding is usually under control before you leave but it can resume. Avoiding any activity that would increase your blood pressure is important. Gentle pressure helps control bleeding. Biting gently on sponges will help control bleeding. If bleeding persists you must call the doctor for instructions. Do not resume anti-coagulant medications until bleeding is under control and this includes Aspirin products. Those at risk of medical complications must discuss this with the doctor and may require special management and coordination with your physician.
Swelling is best managed immediately after surgery beginning with cold compress to the surgical area for the first 48 hours. After this, swelling has usually reached its greatest and now heat is effective to speed the recovery and reduce the swelling. Keep the head elevated to lessen blood pressure to the head.