The first hour after the surgery – Try and keep gauze pads the doctor inserted in place over the surgical area. Don’t change them for the first hour after the surgery in order to control any bleeding. Gauze pads can be removed after one hour. If bleeding doesn’t stop, place some more new gauze pads in order to apply pressure the surgical area for another 30 minutes. If it is necessary, you can change gauze pads every 30-45 minutes. It is better to moisten the pads with water for more comfort while positioning of them.
Rest – We ask our patients not to exercise or exert themselves the first day after the surgery. It is better not to irritate the implant area for that day. When you exercise, your blood pumps faster throughout your body, and might cause your wound to start bleeding again. We highly recommend not trying to probe or rinse the surgery area. You should only brush your teeth extremely gently. Try to avoid vigorous and strenuous activities for the entire first day. The best thing to do would be to rest on the couch or bed for the rest of the day. You should be very gentle and careful while changing your body position from lying down to standing, because you might get light headed when you stand up too quickly.
Avoid Smoking – Smoking is highly discouraged, because it slows down the healing process and causes dry sockets and discomfort. We recommend not to smoke throughout the entire healing phase. Drinking beverages from a straw can also cause dry sockets. This can be very painful so it is in your best interest to avoid it.
Oral Hygiene – It is important to keep your surgical area as clean as possible to avoid infection. You can begin to brush your teeth the first night after the surgery but should be very gentle around the implantation area. If you experience bleeding, you should be able to begin rinsing your mouth with salt water rinses 24 hours after the surgery. Saltwater rinse should be made with the mix of 8 ounces of water and 1 tablespoon of salt. You can rinse your mouth with this solution 2-3 times per day. The most beneficial time to rinse would be right after eating to limit food particles getting stuck in your mouth.
Oozing/Bleeding – It is normal that bleeding might occur for the first 24-48 hours after the surgery. The bleeding will be mostly saliva with a small amount of blood. Placing the gauze pad firmly over the bleeding area will help control it. If the oozing doesn’t stop, change the pad every 30-45 minutes. Tea leaves help to encourage blood clotting. If the bleeding is uncontrollable don’t wait any longer and call our office.
Swelling – It is normal for swelling to last for 2-3 days after the surgery. To reduce the swelling, try to use ice applied on the cheek next to the surgical area. It’s best to ice the area in intervals of 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off the cheek for the first 24 hours after the procedure. If your doctor prescribed medications, use them as directed.
Diet – Try avoiding hot foods. Make sure to eat nourishing and balanced meals that can be comfortably eaten. It is best for the first days to eat soft foods only. Try to avoid foods like popcorns, seeds, nuts, rice because they could easily be stuck in the surgical area. Don’t skip meals because it is important for you to heal and gain strength faster.
Nausea – Vomiting, and nausea can occur because of anesthesia, pain medicine or swallowed blood. If switching pain medicine to some other pain reliever won’t help with nausea, feel free to call our office for advice.
Mouth Rinsing – As it is very important to keep the mouth clean, it is helpful if you rinse your mouth with saltwater to alleviate pain and kill bacteria. You can make a rinsing solution by using 8 ounces of water with ¼ teaspoon of salt. Rinse it for 5 minutes to finish the entire glass. You should do that at least 2-3 times a day.
Brushing – Maintaining proper dental hygiene is very important, so begin your normal brushing routine as soon as possible. Swelling and soreness shouldn’t stop you from brushing, just don’t press too hard. Keep in mind that it will speed up the healing process.
Healing – The first two days after the implantation are the most uncomfortable days. On the third day after the surgery you will begin to feel more comfortable and even though the swelling might still remain, you will be able to slowly come back to your normal diet routine. You will notice gradual and steady improvements in your oral health.
Bruising and Discoloration – It is normal that some bruising and discoloration may appear 2-3 days after the surgery. Moist heat applied 36 hours after the surgery should help with this issue.
A Sore Throat – it is not unusual to have a sore throat for 2-3 days. It happens because the muscles get swollen during the surgery.
Stiff Jaw Muscles – It might be difficult to open your mouth widely for few first days. It should resolve after the first week after the surgery. It is a normal postoperative symptom. Trying to lightly stretch your jaw muscles will help.
Each case is unique and individual, so feel free to call First Class Dental with any questions concerning your dental implant surgery process at (661) 383-2888.