What should I do after receiving a dental implant?


Avoid biting, rinsing, spitting, or touching the implant surgery site

First off, congratulations on receiving your dental implant! There is no doubt that dental implants are the best way to replace your missing teeth. Of course, to get the dental implant, you need to have surgery. Just like any other surgery, there are a few things you need to watch out for. Here are a few basic things to look out for in the next coming days following your implant surgery (Please note that these guidelines are for after receiving the dental implant post, screw if you may):

Avoid the Surgery Site

It's extremely important not to disturb the wound for the first two to three days. This means you should avoid biting or playing with the implant site. Also, do not rinse, spit, or touch the surgery site. Occasionally, there may be a small metal healing at or above the gum tissue. Other times there mighty be a bump on your gums in that region. Don't play with it! This can cause your dental implant to fail.

Do Not Spit

It's normal to experience some minor bleeding during the first day. Excessive bleeding, where your mouth fills up rapidly with blood, may be controlled by biting firmly on one or two gauze pads. Place the gauze pad directly on the wound and apply firm pressure for about 20 to 30 minutes. Switch out your gauze pack for a new one. Continue for an hour or until the bleeding stops. If you're having trouble controlling the bleeding, a nice little trick is to place a wet tea bag on the surgery site. This usually gets the bleeding under control within an hour. However, should the bleeding continue, or if it shows no signs of slowing down, contact your dentist immediately or go to the nearest emergency room. This is especially important for patients who are on a blood thinner and those suffering from extremely high blood pressure.

Use an ice-pack

It's normal to have some swelling after any surgery. You can minimize the swelling by applying an ice pack, or a towel filled with ice, to your cheeks. Apply the ice pack on and off every 20 minutes or so. If needed, continue this routine for a few hours throughout the first two to three days. After that, if needed, start using a heat pack.

Modify Your Diet

You should drink plenty of fluids during the recovery period. Eat like an infant for the first two to three days after surgery. You can return to a semi-normal diet after that. The exceptions are hard and crunchy food items. Hard foods to avoid include bread, steak, nuts, and raw vegetables. Occasionally, your dentist may ask you to stay on a soft diet for several weeks or even a month after a major surgery. Each case is different, so be sure to ask your dentist or oral surgeon about how long you need to modify your diet after implant surgery.

Take Your Medications as Prescribed

Begin taking your pain medication and antibiotics before the local anesthetic wears off. For mild-to-moderate pain, take between 400 mg to 800 mg of Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or one to two pills of Tylenol 500 mg. For severe pain, ask your dentist to prescribe a controlled substance and take it as directed. Do not take any of the above medications if you are allergic, or have been instructed by your physician to avoid them. Avoid taking strong painkillers with alcoholic beverages as it can have serious side effects.

Modify your Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential to the proper healing of the implant. Use warm salt water to rinse, by adding a teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water, and rinse about two to three times a day. Be sure to rinse gently and not forcibly. Don't be too eager to clean your surgery site either. You can start brushing your teeth the day after your surgery, however, you must avoid the surgery site. Do not use an electric toothbrush on your dental implant for the first few weeks as this could cause implant failure. Either use a manual toothbrush or turn off your electric brush when approaching the implant site. No Waterpiking either for the first few weeks. The success of your implant is more important than your oral hygiene. If you feel that you're teeth start to become dirty, schedule an additional dental cleaning one to two months after your implant surgery.

Avoid Strenuous Physical Activities

Keep physical activities to a minimum following surgery. Heavy exercising causes throbbing, swelling, or bleeding which can lead to implant failure. Avoid strenuous exercises for the first week. Jogging, yoga, and light workouts are acceptable after the first two to three days. If you have any other questions, please contact your dentist or surgeon for further instructions. We hope you find this information helpful and we wish you a speedy recovery!