Post-Operative Instructions for Dental Implants
Most patients report only very minor discomfort following placement of a dental implant. However, there are a number of post-operative recommendations which are wise to follow.
In the first three hours it is best to allow a solid blood clot to form around the dental implant. This will protect the new implant from food debris and any associated contamination by bacteria. It will also assist healing by encouraging the correct tissues to attach to the correct portion of the implant. It is very important that you do not rinse too vigorously for the first three hours, and make every effort to leave the implant site alone.
Over the first week there remains a risk of infection of the implant site by various oral bacteria. Therefore it is important to follow the instructions for the use of antibiotics and antiseptics. In particular, antiseptic mouth rinse containing chlorhexidine should be held in the mouth for 30 seconds following each meal and last thing before bed. This will ensure the implant site is kept clean for the first three weeks.
First three weeks
The integration of the titanium implant with the deeper tissues can take a number of weeks. It is extremely important that every effort is made to not load the implant. When chewing hard foods you should avoid the site, and pay particular that the overlying removable denture is not rubbing on or hitting the implant. If your implant was placed on the upper jaw, please don’t blow your nose for 4 weeks as this puts excessive pressure on the surgery area.
- Contact a dentist if you have any problems.
- Brush your teeth as normal, but avoid the surgical site for the first 3 days, then slowly increase the vigour of brushing and flossing of the surgical site over the rest of the first week. You should be able to resume normal cleaning after first week.
After the surgery, you will remain numb for a few hours. It is important to take the medicine as directed by your dentist. You can expect slight bleeding from the site for up to two days after surgery. Biting on a piece of gauze or handkerchief (tissues are not suitable) for a few minutes will usually stop this problem. If heavy bleeding continues, you should contact your dentist. There may also be some swelling or bruising of the area for the first two days after surgery.
The removal of teeth or oral surgery can be considered a minor surgical procedure. Even though you may be feeling quite well, you must take every opportunity to rest during the first three days following surgery. This will ensure quick healing with minimal risk of complications.