Jumpstart Healthy Healing After Surgery

Properly following post-operative instructions after your dental implant surgery is important for your recovery and the long-term success of your treatment. For the first few days after surgery, refrain from disturbing the wound. You may have a metal healing abutment visible above your gum line. It’s important that you keep this abutment clean by wiping it with a Q-tip dipped in warm salt water or mouthwash.

Minor bleeding is normal for the first 24 hours after your surgery. If you experience more excessive bleeding, bite down on a gauze pad placed over the wound for 30 minutes. Contact our office immediately if you have prolonged bleeding or bleeding that cannot be controlled.

Minor swelling is normal directly after surgery and may last for a few days. To help minimize swelling, hold the ice pack or bag of ice wrapped in a towel to your cheek. Apply this ice as much as you can for the first 36 hours after your surgery.

Pain medication, such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil), can be taken before the local anesthetic begins to wear off to avoid any discomfort. Follow the instructions for the number of medications you can take in the given time period. Take any prescription medication only as instructed. If severe pain occurs and continues, contact our office immediately.

If you’ve been prescribed antibiotics, take them as instructed by our doctor until complete. Antibiotics help to prevent infection, which is crucial to the success of your surgery.

Take any prescribed mouth wash as directed, usually the night after your surgery before you go to bed. For the next few days, use this mouthwash 1-2 times daily (morning and night) and begin rinsing your mouth with warm salt water 4-5 times a day, especially after eating. Twenty-four hours after your surgery, you can resume brushing your teeth and the surgical site gently with a soft toothbrush.

Drink the recommended amount of water each day and be sure to eat nutritionally rich food to help your body recover from surgery. Avoid drinking or eating hot beverages or foods, and do not chew foods directly on the implant site. Immediately after your surgery, stick to a soft food diet (such as protein shakes, yogurt, applesauce, etc.). You can return to a normal diet within a few days, or as instructed by our doctor.

For the first week after surgery, refrain from any exercising or physical activities that can increase blood flow and disturb the surgical site. Also avoid activities that increase the risk of impact or injury to your mouth. If, during exercise, you experience complications such as bleeding or throbbing at the surgical site, discontinue activities immediately, and contact our office.

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