After Placement of Dental Implants
Once a dental implant or bone graft has been placed, do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. If an implant has been placed there will often be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue.
If you received a bone graft, you may find some small granules in your mouth for the first several days. This is because the graft material is made up of many particles. Do not be alarmed by these. It’s normal to have some of them come out of the graft site and into your mouth. There are some things you can do to minimize the amount of particles that become dislodged:
- Do not disturb or touch the wound.
- Avoid rinsing or spitting for the first day to allow blood clot and graft material stabilization.
- Do not apply pressure with your tongue or fingers to the grafted area, as the material is movable during the initial healing.
- Do not lift or pull on the lip to look at the sutures. This can actually cause damage to the wound site and tear the sutures.
- Do not smoke for 2 weeks following surgery.
On the day following the surgery gentle rinsing would be acceptable, but not too vigorously as you can disturb some of the bone graft granules. If a partial denture or a flipper was placed in your mouth, you may have to see your restorative dentist to have it adjusted and learn how to remove and replace it appropriately.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or foods. Soft foods and liquids should be eaten on the day of the surgery and for several days following the surgery. Avoid chewing directly on the area(s) where the implant and/or graft was placed until at least your first post-operative appointment with Dr. Gumplinger.
Be sure to take antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection if they were prescribed to you.
Do not rinse or spit on the day of your surgery. This tends to disturb the blood clot, open the wound, and can prolong the bleeding and slow the healing. You should not have a significant amount of blood in your mouth after surgery. Saliva can be swallowed, even if it is slightly blood tinged.
Keeping your mouth clean after surgery is essential to reduce the risk of infection. Start salt water rinses the day following your procedure. Use one teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of warm water and gently rinse with portions of the salt solution, taking 5 minutes to use the entire glassful. Repeat as often as you like, but at least 4-5 times a day and always after eating. Continue with the rinsing for 2 weeks after surgery.
Do not brush the teeth in the area of surgery until we direct you to do so, which is typically about 2 weeks. When brushing, be very gentle. When expectorating, also be gentle.
We will prescribe an antibacterial rinse (Peridex, Chlorhexidine) for certain procedures. This rinse should be used in the morning and at bedtime after your routine mouth care. Do not eat or drink or rinse your mouth after using the medicated rinse. Using this rinse more than two times a day may cause staining of the teeth.
You may be given an Oxyfresh Gel. You can begin using the gel twice a day the day after your surgery. In the morning after breakfast, clean your teeth, rinse with the Peridex and then place a small (pea size) amount of gel on your clean fingertip and gently apply to the surgical site. Leave the gel in place; do not rinse or spit after applying. Repeat this process just before bedtime. It is fine to sleep with the gel in your mouth. These instructions do vary from those on the Oxyfresh package; this is intentional so please follow the instructions we have provided for you. The Oxyfresh gel brings stabilized oxygen to the surgical site and helps to speed the healing process.
Severe pain is usually not experienced, but some pain and discomfort is to be expected after surgery. For mild to moderate discomfort use Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) 200mg two tablets every four hours. Extra strength Tylenol can also be taken every four hours.
For more severe pain, use the prescription given to you. If the pain does not begin to subside in two to three days, please call the office.
DO NOT SMOKE for at least 2 weeks following surgery. Smoking dramatically increases the risk of implant failure. Why not take this opportunity to quit smoking altogether?
WEARING YOUR PROSTHESIS OR NIGHTGUARD:
Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures should not be used immediately after surgery until your post-operative appointment unless you have been instructed otherwise. Please contact the office if there are any questions. If you have a temporary flipper to wear do not place it until the numbness (freezing) is gone. When it is placed, it should not touch the gums in the area of the surgery. If it does, this can cause ulceration of the wound edges and breakdown of the suture margins. If you have questions about the fit of your flipper, partial or full denture, do not wear it until your dentist or our office can see you.
OTHER POST-OPERATIVE CONSIDERATIONS:
In many instances a healing cap or abutment was placed over the implant. This will look silver and will be emerging through the gums. Do not stretch your lip to inspect the area as this will cause wound breakdown. Be very cautious not to eat or chew on these temporary implant covers as it will place undue movement on the implant(s) below and can cause implant failure.
It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have questions about your progress, please call the office. Please try to call during office hours. If you are experiencing an emergency you may contact the office at any time at #604.439.7874 for further instructions.