After Placement of Dental Implants

Immediately Following Surgery

  • Patients receiving an IV anesthetic should return home from our office immediately and lie down with your head elevated until the effects of the medications have dissappeared.  You may feel drowsy for a short period of time or for several hours. Do not drive an automobile or operate machinery for at least 12 hours, or longer if you feel any residual effects from the anesthetic. 
  • Do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. There will be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue.
  • The gauze pad placed over the surgical area should be kept in place for 30-45 minutes.  After this time, the gauze pad should be removed and discarded.
  • Vigorous mouth rinsing and/or touching the wound area following surgery should be avoided. This may initiate bleeding by causing the blood clot that has formed to become dislodged.
  • Place ice packs to the sides of your face where the surgery was performed.  Refer to the section on swelling for a more thorough explanation.
  • Restrict your activities the first day.  After a few days, you should feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, new or increasing swelling after 3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office at River Valley Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Phone Number309-797-1770.

*If you have had surgery at our office and are having a postoperative problem, call our office for advise or an appointment.  You may also simply come to our office at 7:30am Monday-Friday for an evaluation.

Bleeding

A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes immediately after the appointment.  Visually make sure the pack is directly over the surgical area as numbness can make this hard to feel. Slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva is not uncommon for 48 hours following surgery. Excessive bleeding may be controlled by first rinsing or wiping any old clots from your mouth, then placing a gauze pad over the area and biting firmly for thirty minutes. Repeat if necessary. If bleeding continues, bite on a ice water moistened black tea bag for thirty minutes. The tannic acid in the black tea helps to form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels. To minimize further bleeding, do not become excited, sit upright, and avoid exercise. If bleeding does not subside, call our office for further instructions.  

After the blood clot forms it is important to not disturb or dislodge the clot. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 24 hours. These activities may dislodge or dissolve the clot and hinder the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 48 hours, as this increases blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.

Swelling

Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling apply an ice bag, or a plastic bag or towel filled with ice, on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously, as much as possible, for the first 36 hours.

Diet

Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or foods. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.

Pain

For moderate pain, one or two tablets of Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol (acetaminophen) may be taken every 3-4 hours (maximun=3000mg/24hour).  You may choose to take Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil), in which case you should take two to three 200 mg tablets every 4-6 hours (maximum= 3200mg/24hour). Ibuprofen and Tylenol taken simultaneously may improve pain relief, but be careful not to exceed dosing recommendations.  Consult with your physician as to whether you can take these medications with your unique health history.

For severe pain not controlled by over-the-counter (OTC) medications, take the medication prescribed by your doctor as directed. The prescribed pain medicine will make you groggy and will slow down your reflexes.  Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages.  Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day.  This type of pain medication usually contains an opoid and acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Ibuprophen (Advil).  Opoids are habit forming and should be used with caution.  Do not take additional Tylenol (acetaminophen) along with the prescribed medication as it may contain Tylenol as well.  Too much Tylenol can harm your liver.  If you are unsure, call the office for clarification.

Antibiotics

If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time.  Discontinue antibiotic use in the event of a rash or any other unfavorable reaction and contact our office.

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing.  The day after surgery, the prescribed Peridex rinse should be used twice daily; after breakfast and before bed. Be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds then spit it out. Warm salt water rinses (one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) should be used at least 4-5 times a day as well, especially after meals. Brush your teeth and the healing abutments. Be gentle initially while brushing the surgical areas.

Activity

Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. Keep in mind that you are probably not taking in normal nourishment. This may weaken you and further limit your ability to exercise.

Wearing your Prosthesis

Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures, should not be used immediately after surgery for at least 10 days, as discussed in the pre-operative consultation unless otherwise directed.

For more general post surgery information see the extraction post operative instructions.

*If you have had surgery at our office and are having a postoperative problem, call our office for advise or an appointment.  You may also simply come to our office at 7:30am Monday-Friday for an evaluation.