After Placement of Dental Implants and bone grafting

Home Instructions After Dental Implant Surgery and Bone Grafting

After dental implant surgery, do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. There may be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue. It is not unusual to feel or see some small particles of bone grafting material and sutures dislodge during the first few days and weeks following surgery and is expected.  Abundant bone grafting material is placed and some particles can express from the surgery area and this is normal.

Bleeding

Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24-72 hours. Excessive bleeding (your mouth fills rapidly with blood) can be controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues you may use regular tea bags dampened in ice water for 30 minutes at a time and repeat every 30 minutes to control the bleeding.

Swelling

Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling apply an ice bag, or a plastic bag or towel filled with ice or (frozen bags of corn/peas) on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously, as much as possible, for the first 48 hours.  Patients who have had more extensive reconstructive type bone grafting will incur more swelling the first week than patients that have more simple extraction socket grafting.  This is normal and is due to work in the muscles of the cheek and mobilization of tissue to cover over the new expanded bone graft.

Diet

Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food (yogurt, pudding, jello, scrambled eggs) and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.  Avoid any hard foods or objects such as nuts, ice cubes etc. that could strike the implant area especially if a metal healing abutment is present.

Pain

You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate pain, one or two tablets of Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every 3-4 hours. Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may be taken instead of Tylenol. Ibuprofen bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 2-3 tablets may be taken four times daily, not to exceed 3200mg daily for an adult. Consult our practice for individuals under 18. Do not take the two medications at the same time.

For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed. Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic to them, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call the office.

Antibiotics

Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics (if these were given to you) as directed to help prevent infection.

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing.  In some bone grafting cases Dr. Faerber may ask you to avoid any mouth rinsing the first week such as extraction socket grafting.  Larger bone graft cases will have rinses allowed if confirmed by Dr. Faerber and his assistants. The day after surgery, the Peridex should be used twice daily (if prescribed);  after breakfast and before bed. Be sure to only lightly coat the mouth with the rinse for 5 seconds than allow to drain our out by gravity. Warm salt water rinses (one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) can be used as an alternative 3 times a day as well, especially after meals. Use the soft periodontal tooth brush provided if you brush near the surgery site .  Avoid brushing near the surgery areas for the first 72 hours and do not use any vibrating (electric) toothbrushes until allowed by Dr. Faerber.

Activity

Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. Avoid heavy exercise for larger bone graft surgeries the first 5 days after 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 will only be worn at the direction of Dr. Faerber.  These often may need to be adjusted by your general dentist after surgery to avoid heavy contact on the implant surgery area.