Recovery After Dental Implant

At Empress Walk Dental, we are dedicated to the success of all of our treatments. One key component of a treatment’s success is making sure that our patients follow through on all post-operative instructions.If you are scheduled to have a dental implant procedure, we encourage you to read through this information prior to the procedure so that you are fully prepared for the recovery process.

The Basics

  • Do NOT disturb the wound by touching it, spitting, or rinsing it on the day of your surgery.
  • If you see a metal healing abutment sticking out of your gum tissue, don’t freak out – this is entirely normal and we will fix it when you return for the second part of the procedure.

What To Do About…

Pain

  • Once the local anesthetic given to you by the dentist begins to wear off, please immediately begin taking an over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) to relieve mild post-surgery pain as long as you are not allergic to them or do not have any other health reasons to avoid them.
  • In cases of more severe pain, a prescription pain medication may be prescribed to you. Please take this medication as directed.
  • It is best to take pain medication with food or fluids to decrease the likelihood that you will experience nausea or vomiting.
  • Prescription pain medication can also make you dizzy or groggy. For your safety and the safety of others, do not drive, operate a motorized vehicle, or engage in any activities by which you might cause harm to yourself or others while taking prescription pain medicine.

Swelling

  • It is not unusual to experience swelling, discomfort, and/or bruising after a procedure like this one.
  • You can use an ice pack for the first 24 hours after the procedure to bring down the swelling. Hold the ice pack on the side of your face where the procedure was done for 20 minutes at a time, then leave it off for 20 minutes. Repeat this as necessary.

Bleeding

  • As you might expect, bleeding is totally normal after a dental implant procedure.
  • We will give you a gauze pad to stanch the bleeding. This pad should be left in place for approximately one hour before being replaced with a fresh pad. When changing to a new gauze pad, fold it up and moisten it before putting it in your mouth.
  • Apply pressure on the gauze in a gentle, yet firm manner, but do NOT chew on it as this will make the bleeding worse. After 45 minutes to an hour, you may replace the gauze again, repeating these steps until the bleeding slows.
  • If the bleeding is especially bad, you may want to consider using a tea bag instead of a gauze pad – the tea contains tannins which can sometimes help to stop blood flow from a wound.
  • Avoid spitting as this will exacerbate the bleeding.
  • Lie still or sit quietly with your head elevated.

In cases of excessive bleeding or bleeding that just won’t stop, please call our office so we can help you.

  • If there is blood on your gauze pads for several hours after the procedure, do not panic – this is normal. It is also normal to have some residual blood on your pillow and/or in your saliva for 3-4 days post-surgery.

IMPORTANT: Do NOT sleep with gauze pads in your mouth.

Activity

  • Right after your surgery, you will need to keep physical activity to a minimum.
  • Exercise may cause throbbing or bleeding, so please proceed carefully and stop if these symptoms occur.
  • Since you will likely be unable to consume solid foods, your energy levels may be lower than normal and you may be too weak to exercise the way you normally would.
  • Be sure you are getting enough rest. Use an abundance of caution in the first day or two after the procedure in terms of your activity levels.

Food and Drink

  • You’ll need to begin taking in fluids as soon as you can after your surgery in order to facilitate the healing process.
  • Solid food will be off limits for a while unless you have been told otherwise. You should not under any circumstances be putting pressure on your surgical site(s).
  • Fluids you might try to consume include water, fruit and vegetable juices, sports drinks, and broth soups (chicken or beef).
  • We will give you more specific dietary guidelines on the day of your procedure.
  • If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to call us.

Antibiotics

  • Your dentist will prescribe you with an antibiotic in order to prevent infection. Please make sure that you take this medication as prescribed for the full length of time indicated on the packaging.
  • If you experience any itching or develop a sudden rash, please stop taking the antibiotic and call our office immediately as you may be experiencing an allergic reaction.
  • Patients who are taking oral contraceptives should be advised that antibiotics decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills. Alternative methods of birth control should be used for the rest of the cycle in order to most effectively prevent pregnancy.
  • If you become constipated, a laxative such as Milk of Magnesia may relieve your symptoms.

Oral Hygiene

  • Proper oral hygiene is an essential part of the healthy healing process.
  • Your dentist will prescribe a chlorhexidine oral rinse (Peridex), which you should use the night before your surgery prior to going to bed.
  • On the day following your surgery, use the oral rinse two times per day – once after breakfast and once before going to sleep. You should be rinsing for a full 30 seconds before spitting the Peridex out.
  • In addition, you will need to rinse your mouth out with a warm salt water mixture (one teaspoon of salt dissolved in a cup of warm water) a minimum of 4-5 times per day, particularly after eating.
  • Brushing your teeth and even the metal abutments is not an issue, though you will want to be gentle at first when you are brushing around the surgical site(s).

Alcohol

  • Alcohol can make any bleeding issues worse, and it also tends to interact very poorly with prescription pain medications.
  • To avoid causing any problems, avoid drinking alcohol for 1 week following your surgery.

Smoking

  • Smoking is one of the leading causes of implant failure and it can severely hinder the healing process.
  • Bottom line: DO NOT SMOKE.

Wearing Your Prosthesis

  • If you normally wear dentures, flippers, or partial dentures, you will need to refrain from doing so immediately after your surgery because these devices would place pressure on the surgical site(s), which is very detrimental to the healing process.
  • We will give you more specific instructions at the time of your procedure regarding any prosthesis that you might use.

Your Follow-up Appointment

Before you leave our office after your procedure is over, we will give you instructions about when to return for your followup appointment. This followup visit is absolutely critical to the success of your treatment because the dentist needs to make sure you are healing properly. If you set your followup appointment before leaving our office, make sure that you keep the appointment. If you were instructed to call us at a later date to schedule the followup visit, please do so.

If you have questions or concerns or need to change the time of your followup appointment, please call us at 416-250-8000 as soon as possible.

We want to see you

Our Office

5095 Yonge St, Unit A1, North York, ON M2N 6Z4

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