After Placement of Dental Implants
This is very important for preventing an infection and loss of your implants and/or bone graft. Starting the day after your surgery, gently but thoroughly brush your teeth (with a soft toothbrush) after each meal, before going to bed and when you get up in the morning. Avoid directly brushing the surgical site. After each time you brush your teeth, gently rinse your mouth for 60 seconds with the dilute salt-water solution (saline) given to you. Rinse at least 4 times each day. To make additional saline, dissolve 2 flat teaspoons of table salt in 1 liter of warm water using the container given to you. Starting the 5th day after surgery, rinse using a dilute hydrogen peroxide solution (1/4 hydrogen peroxide with 3/4 saline). Do not use any commercial mouthwash. Do not use a “Waterpick” (oral irrigation device).
For 48 hours after surgery, take only clear liquids (liquids you can read print through). Do not drink through a straw. Drink plenty of liquids (at least 10 full glasses a day). After the first 48 hours, you may start eating soft foods (like mashed potatoes or grits). Stay on a soft diet for at least two weeks. Do not chew on the implant side for 8 weeks. Do not eat hard foods like chips for at least 8 weeks. Do not drink alcoholic beverages for at least two weeks. A multivitamin with zinc (like “Centrum”) would be helpful to supplement your diet for several months during your healing.
The surgical area and face are expected to swell and occasionally bruise; this is normal. The swelling should reach its maximum by the 3rd day after surgery. Elevate your head with extra pillows for the first 48 hours after surgery. This will help reduce your swelling and bleeding. Starting the 4th day after surgery, an electric (moist) heating pad (on medium heat setting) over the surgical area (alternating 30 minutes on and 20 minutes off) will hasten your healing. Using heat in this manner will improve your healing tremendously.
It is normal to experience some discomfort after surgery. Your discomfort may last 1-2 weeks following surgery. Pain medications will be given to you to control and lessen your pain. However, no medication will alleviate all of your discomfort. Some of the medications given and prescribed will cause drowsiness. Do not drive or operate machinery after your surgery or after taking your prescribed pain medications, because they will slow your responses. Start your pain medication when the numbness begins to wear off. The local anesthesia will wear off in about 4-8 hours. Please avoid using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Motrin or Ibuprofen for the first two months of healing.
Do not smoke. Smoking will increase the risk of infection and implant and/or bone graft rejection or loss.
Do not wear dentures over the surgical area until instructed by Dr. Snyder that it is ok.
We strongly encourage that a responsible adult be with you for the first 24 hours after surgery. You may resume your normal activities the day after your procedure. Base your activities on how you feel.
If questions arise, call Dr. Snyder at (530) 272-3111. If you have prolonged/severe bleeding, swelling or pain, call Dr. Snyder immediately.