POSTOPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS FOLLOWING IMPLANT PLACEMENT
The following information has been prepared to help answer the many questions you may have regarding the surgical procedure which has just been performed.
- DISCOMFORT: It is not unusual to have a certain amount of discomfort for a day or two following your surgery. In many instances, two Tylenol or Advil tablets taken every 4 hours, but not more than 10 tablets daily, will be sufficient to relieve discomfort. It is best not to take aspirin, as it can interfere with blood clotting. Most patients report a “tightening” sensation in the jaw bone for a day or so following the surgery. This will dissipate over time. If necessary, you will be given a prescription for a more potent medication to allow for a mild post surgical recovery period. Take as directed on the label. If significant discomfort persists, please contact Dr. Orr.
- SWELLING: Minor swelling may follow your surgical procedure. This swelling usually peaks at 48 hours post-operatively. To prevent or minimize swelling, it is advisable to place an ice pack over the area for the next two hours after the appointment. Crushed ice in a zip-lock plastic bag works well. Place on the cheek near the surgical site for 20 minutes, then off for 15 minutes, then on again, and so on. Call this office if swelling around your jaws increases greatly.
- BLEEDING: A small amount of bleeding is all that is necessary to discolor the saliva and give the appearance of excessive bleeding. DO NOT BE ALARMED as this is not unusual. If excessive or continuous bleeding does occur: a) discontinue all rinsing, b) sit up in an erect (do not lie down) position, and c) very gently bite on gauze over the implant site. If continued bleeding is of concern to you, do not hesitate to call this office.
- APPEARANCE: It is possible and perfectly normal during healing for the implant(s) to sometimes show itself through the gum. This is nothing to worry about. (If a Teflon membrane was placed over the implant during the surgery, then you may see white material exposed under the gum tissue.) We will periodically review the healing of the site.
- DIET: Do not eat hard or firm foods on the side receiving surgical care. The key point to remember is to avoid putting any biting forces on top of the implant(s). If both sides received surgical care, then you should eat a soft diet. Avoid very hot foods and very hot liquids for the first day following surgery. Although a liquid or semisolid diet may be used at first, keep in mind that adequate nutrition and fluid intake is essential for proper healing. Needless to say, smoking is highly detrimental to proper healing. Avoid popcorn, poppyseeds, or other seeds that can get stuck and cause infection.
- ANTIBIOTIC: In all likelihood, you will be given a prescription for an antibiotic. Although infection is an extremely remote possibility, the antibiotic is an additional measure of security that will help insure a successful implant placement. Take as directed on the label. Call the office if you develop a fever.
- RINSING/ ORAL HYGIENE: You may have been given a prescription for Peridex or PerioGard – an antimicrobial mouthwash. Rinse twice a day as directed. You should use your toothbrush and floss on the nonsurgical sites as you usually do. Try not to get the toothbrush tangled with the sutures. A cotton swab can be used on the sutures if you feel that you would like to keep that area clean. Do not use a Water Pik near the surgical site for at least 8 weeks.
- DENTURES: If applicable, Dr. Orr will discuss with you the use of your dentures.