After Dental Implant Surgery

  1. The single most important thing to remember for this procedure is to stay quiet and take it easy for a few days. If you are having a single or sectional implant done, you may be able to return to normal activities on the day after surgery.  If you are having multiple implants placed, you should plan to take a few days off from work.


  1. You should expect some swelling and discomfort after this procedure. Following the post operative minimize this.


  1. We will probably provide you with an ice pack to place over your chin and on the side of your jaw immediately after surgery. Keep this ice pack in place for 45 minutes out of every hour for the first 12 hours.  You can make another ice pack by placing ice in a plastic bag wrapped with a light weight towel or cloth.  The ice pack reduces the swelling.


  1. You will probably take two antibiotic tablets immediately after the surgery in our office. If your prescription is for Penicillin, take two more tablets four hours after leaving our office and two more tablets eight hours after leaving our office.  If the antibiotic prescribed for you is Erythromycin, take one tablet four hours and eight hours after surgery. Take the Erythromycin with milk or with soft food.  Starting on the day after surgery, take the antibiotic as the label reads, “one tablet four times a day”.  It is suggested that you take the antibiotics with each meal and before retiring for the night.


  1. Take the pain medication as prescribed. If you are given two prescriptions for pain, make sure the pharmacist identifies the one that is a stronger pain medication.  Take the milder medication first, if it is not effective then discontinue taking the milder medication and take the stronger medication instead.  Do not take any pain medication until the effects of the sedation have worn off on the day of the surgery.


  1. There is usually only a minimum amount of bleeding following implant procedures. We suggest that you leave the gauze or packing in your mouth that we placed after the surgery for at least one hour.  If you notice a small amount of bleeding from the area, you can place another wet gauze or wet paper towel over the area with pressure and keep your head elevated with pillow.


  1. Rinse with warm salt water (¼ to ½ teaspoon salt in 8 oz. of warm water) starting 24 hours after the surgery. Rinse very slightly without swishing.  Continue this procedure for about two weeks three or four times a day.  Swishing vigorously will tend to slow the healing process.  It is best that you do not try to rinse for the first 24 hours after surgery.


  1. Do not attempt to brush or floss in the area of the surgery for the first two weeks. Keep your mouth clean with the salt water rinses.  After the initial two week healing period, cleaning the implant will be very important and we will instruct you on how to clean it at the appropriate time.


  1. Diet and nutrition are very important. Eat soft food containing protein and Vitamin B complex.  Food such as liver, meat, eggs, milk, yogurt, and whole grain or enriched cereals are better for you. An ascorbic acid supplement (Vitamin C) is recommended.  Take 500mg of Vitamin C a day indefinitely.  During the first two weeks after surgery, it may be necessary to use an electric blender for many foods.  Do not chew anything but soft foods for the first two weeks.  Care should be taken to gently rinse food from around the implant after eating.  If you have natural teeth in the area of the mouth not affected by the implant surgery, you can eat normally on those natural teeth.  As the soreness goes away, you will gradually be able to chew more normally.


  1. Alcoholic beverages seriously retard the healing process in the mouth.  It is best that you have no alcoholic beverages at all for the first ten days.  It is especially important not to have any alcoholic beverages for the first 72 hours.


  1. In summary, use good common sense in caring for the surgical area during the initial healing period.  The implant will be an excellent service to you if it heals properly.  All of the above steps will help it heal faster.  Do not hesitate to call us at the office.