A dental implant has been placed in your mouth. The implant may be located above or below the tissue. This type of implant has been selected for your situation because of the bone available to place an implant. The implant will usually take a period of four to six months to heal; depending upon your body’s healing properties and the type of implant surgery.

If sutures were placed around your implant, the stitches that were placed are self-absorbing. There is no need to come back to the clinic to remove the stitches. Stitches will dissolve completely around 5-7 days, in the meantime, refrain from drinking or eating anything extremely hot during this time period.

Usually, you are able to wear your present partial or flipper, if applicable. Sometimes it is necessary to leave it on the night of the surgery. It is important to keep the appliance as clean as possible during the healing period. Please ask the doctor if you have any questions.

Every consideration must be given to keep the surgical site clean and free of food particles.

If an antibiotic is prescribed, take the tablets or liquid as directed. Take the entire prescription until gone. Antibiotics can be given to help prevent infection. Make sure to call the office if a rash or other unfavorable reaction occurs.

Instructions for mouth care and other helpful information:

NO SMOKING! Smoking is to be avoided for the time specified by the doctor. Smoking increases the heat in the surgical site and significantly lowers the body’s ability to heal the site.

AVOID these after surgery: alcohol with post-operative medications, commercial mouth rinses, and very hot fluids.

Gentle rinsing of the mouth should be started the day after surgery. Frequent gentle rinsing with lukewarm salt water will aid the healing process (add one-half teaspoon of salt to a 6oz glass of water). Avoid the use of a water-pik toothbrush.

Pain: Unfortunately, most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort. If you do not have an allergy to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (Ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil) we recommend taking this prior to the local anesthetic wearing off. More severe pain may require narcotic pain medication. Narcotic pain medication will make you drowsy, do not drive or operate mechanical machinery while taking the prescription. Alternate Ibuprofen (2 tablets / 200mg each) and the narcotic medication every two hours if needed. Once you feel like you can stop the narcotic, use Ibuprofen or Tylenol. You may also be prescribed an antibacterial mouth rinse which should be used twice daily in the first two weeks following implant surgery. All medications should not exceed the recommended dosage.

Swelling: Some swelling and minimal bruising is possible and is to be expected. Swelling is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and healing. The swelling will not become apparent until 24 hours after surgery and will not reach its peak for 2-3 days. After this time, the swelling should decrease but may persist for 7-10 days. Swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. Apply the ice packs to the outside of the face for 20 minutes on and then 20 minutes off while awake for the first 24 hours.

After 48 hours, begin use of a warm, moist compress to the cheek.

Bleeding: A small amount of bleeding following surgery should not alarm you. If the bleeding is excessive or continuous, please call us at once. Vigorous rinsing of the mouth prolongs bleeding by removing the clotting blood, so when rinsing your mouth, do it gently.

NO drinking through straws. The use of a straw creates negative pressure in your mouth and will tend to loosen the sutures.

Diet: Following surgery, it is best to restrict your diet to fluids and soft foods for the first day. A normal diet may then be resumed the following day, but you will want to avoid chewing on the implant site until the tissue is completely healed. Soft foods such as Jell-O, pudding, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, and soups are suggested. If you have difficulty chewing, try blenderized foods or dietary supplements such as Carnation Instant Breakfast and Ensure.

Implant Follow-Up: We will see you for periodic check-ups until the implant has healed. This is usually for a period of four months to six months, depending on your implant surgery.