Home Care Instructions Following Dental Implant Surgery

It is normal to experience some minor bleeding, discomfort, swelling, and slight facial bruising at or near the implant site following dental implant surgery as these are the results of the body’s natural reaction to surgery. Always follow your dentist’s instructions and refer to the following to aid in minimizing any post-surgical complications:

1. Take/resume any regularly scheduled medications, vitamins, etc. as you normally would unless advised to do otherwise.

2. Do NOT disturb the surgical site or the implant(s) during initial healing period. The smallest amount of pressure/movement can disrupt or prevent the implant(s) from healing and integrating with the bone.

3. There may be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue. Do NOT disturb this. If a temporary tooth was placed on the implant at the same time as surgery, all biting contact with or without food should be completely avoided.

4. AVOID SMOKING COMPLETELY as it tends to delay healing and increases the chance for infection.

5. Beginning the day after and for 2 weeks following surgery, very gently rinse with prescription Chlorhexidine for 30 seconds twice daily; after breakfast and before bed. Avoid eating or drinking for 20 minutes after each application. Also, rinse gently with warm salt water 3-4 times daily for the first week after surgery, especially after meals.

6. Continue with your regular dental hygiene regimen, but be very careful when brushing near the surgical area. Avoid using a Water Pik during the initial 2 week healing period.

7. Over the counter mouthwash may be resumed after 7 days. Do NOT use this in place of the Chlorhexidine Gluconate 0.12% mouth rinse.

8. Swelling is a natural part of the healing process and can be expected for 3-7 days depending on the nature and extent of the surgery. In case of swelling, ice packs may be applied in 10 minute intervals during the first 36-48 hours after surgery. After this, warm compresses may be used.

9. Sleep with your head elevated slightly above your heart to help minimize any swelling. (Use 2 pillows).

10. Begin a complete, but soft diet as soon as the numbness wears off. Make every attempt not to chew near the surgical area. Be sure to eat the appropriate dietary requirements and drink plenty of fluids. A nutritious diet during the healing period is very important. Resume a regular diet as soon as you can.. Avoid very hot, crunchy, or spicy foods/drinks for the first week of healing. Avoid foods and/or fruits which contain seeds, nuts, or kernels such as popcorn, peanuts, or strawberries.

11. Do NOT drink through a straw during the healing period as this may dislodge the blood clot and disrupt the healing process.

12.Refrain from drinking carbonated beverages the first 24 hours after surgery.

13. Control pain/inflammation using non-aspirin medication such as OTC Motrin, Advil, Aleve, or Extra Strength Tylenol and refer to the product label for directions on proper dosing. For moderate to severe pain, the prescribed medications should be taken as directed.

14. Be sure to take all prescribed medications as directed to include antibiotics to help prevent infection. Female patients need to be aware that antibiotics may interfere with the effectiveness of oral contraceptives.

15. Do not consume alcohol for several days after surgery as this may complicate healing. Also, alcohol is not advised while taking any medications.

16. Avoid strenuous activities and keep exercise to a minimum during the first 5 days after surgery.

17. Avoid all activities that require your full, alert attention while under the influence of any sedative or narcotic pain medication as they may cause drowsiness and impair your abilities. Do not drive, operate machinery, climb ladders, etc, or make any important financial decisions until the medication has worn off.

18. Sutures placed will most likely need to be removed 1-2 weeks after surgery. Do not disturb these as they may fall out prematurely, possibly complicating the healing process.

19. Please keep all recommended follow-up appointments to ensure the best result.

20. Should you experience discomfort that cannot be controlled with the above listed or prescription medications, should severe swelling develop, or should you experience any unusual symptoms, please contact the office promptly.