It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. If you have any questions about your progress or any symptoms you are experiencing, please call us at:
Slight bleeding after surgery is not unusual. Your saliva may be tinged with blood for up to twenty-four (24) hours. Gauze should be left in place over the surgery site for at least two (2) hours maintaining firm biting pressure. Note: Sinus graft patients may experience bleeding through the nose for up to 24 hours after surgery. A gauze pack will be placed over the site after surgery. Do not forcefully spit or irritate the surgery site. This may cause further bleeding. If bleeding persists, it may be controlled with pressure. Moisten clean gauze, or nonherbal tea bag and place directly over the surgical site. Apply moderate biting pressure for approximately half an hour. Repeat if necessary. Sometimes a little bit of blood mixed with saliva may look like a lot of bleeding. However, if heavy bleeding continues, please contact our office.
It is not uncommon to have discomfort and pain for the first few days after surgery. Take pain medications as needed. The first day it is recommended to take medication even with minimal pain as it is easier to prevent pain than decrease it. Pain medications are most effective when taken before local anesthesia diminishes and normal sensation returns. Do not take pain pills on an empty stomach. Narcotic pain medication such as codeine, oxycodone, or hydrocodone may cause nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dizziness, itching or constipation. If these side effects occur, discontinue the medication. You may take an alternative over the counter pain medication as necessary or call our office for assistance. Note: Narcotics (Vicodin) can be supplemented with Ibuprofen (~600 mg) or extra strength Tylenol (500 mg) if added pain relief is needed.
Limit strenuous activity for the first 2-3 days. This will reduce bleeding and minimize swelling. Strenuous work or exercise may promote bleeding.
After surgery, swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes, and side of face is very common. This is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and eventual repair. Swelling usually will not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until 2-3 days post-operative. However, the swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. Apply an ice pack to outside of your face over the surgery site for twenty (20) minutes on, (20) minutes off for the first twenty-four (24) hours. Prepare several cold packs by putting damp washcloths in small zip lock freezer bags. These should be placed in your freezer for use following surgery. Poly-vinyl bags of frozen peas work well also. After twenty-four (24) hours, moist heat can be applied to the area as ice will increase swelling. Sleeping with your head elevated above the level of the heart for the first two post-operative nights tends to lessen swelling.
Bruising is also very common after surgery. Bruising can be present over the surgery site and to the lower chin area. The development of black, blue, or yellow discoloration is due to blood spreading beneath the tissue. This is a normal post-operative occurrence, which may occur 2-3 days post-operative and last up to 14 days. Moist heat applied to the area may speed up the removal of discoloration.
Nausea may result from anesthesia medications or drugs prescribed for pain. To minimize this possibility avoid taking any medications on an empty stomach. Take all medications with small amount of food. If you feel nauseated or sick to your stomach drink clear liquids such as Ginger Ale, 7UP, apple juice, or try eating toast and crackers.
After surgery, drink lots of clear liquids and eat soft nutritious foods. Do not drink alcohol or hot liquids. Be cautious until the anesthesia wears off as you have no feeling in the surrounding area and you may unknowingly injure yourself. Avoid acidic foods such as tomatoes, orange juice, and citrus fruits until the surgery site has healed (2 weeks). Do not drink through a straw for at least 48 hours. If you had surgery on only one side of your mouth, favor the other side while chewing for the first few days.
After surgery it is normal for the body temperature to be slightly elevated for 24 hours. Please rmeember to drink sufficient amounts of clear liquids to keep your body hydrated. Please contact the office if there exists a high temperature or if a low-grade temperature persists after the first 24 hours.
Satures are placed in the area of surgery to minimize post-operative bleeding and to help healing. Sometimes they become dislodged, this is no cause for alarm. Just remove the sature from your mouth and discard it. The sutures will be dissolvable and should dissolve on their own in approximately 3-14 days. If they are still present, our office will remove them on your post-op appointment.
Smoking / Alcohol:
Smoking and alcohol delays healing and predisposes you to infection which can result in failure of the implant or bone graft. Do not smoke or use alcohol until the incision line is completely healed (for approximately 2 weeks).
Hygiene should not be neglected as an accumulation of food and debris may promote inflammation and /or infection. You may rinse and brush your teeth starting the day after surgery. Brush your teeth as usual and rice with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in 12 oz of water) after each meal beginning gently the night of surgery. Do not brush the surgical area for 4-5 days. The Chlorhexidine mouth rinse can also be started the following day after surgery.
It is very important that you take your prescirbed medications from our office as prescribed. Each medication has a specific role in the post-operative period of your sugery. Disconintue the Antibiotic medication if a rash develops or if an upset stomach persists. Report this immediately to our office. Women please note: if you are currently taking Birth Control Pills, be aware that taking antibiotics will decrease the effectiveness of the Birth Control Pills and alternative methods should be utilized.
REMEMBER YOUR FOLLOW UP VISIT WITH US!
While your mouth numb, be careful not to bite your cheek, lip, or tongue. The numbness should go away within 24 hours. If it doesn’t please contact us.
Wearing your prosthesis:
Partial dentures, flippers or full dentures should not be used immediately after surgery until your post-operative appointment, unless specifically instructed otherwise. If you have a temporary “flipper” to wear, do not insert it until the numbness in the area is gone. When it is inserted it should not touch the gums in the area of the surgery. If it dose, this can lead to loss of the implant or bone graft. If you have questions about the fit of your flipper, partial or complete denture, do not wear it until our office can see you.
Occasionally this occurs after a tooth extraction and results from the blood clot not forming properly during the healing time. “Dry Socket” refers to the blood clot being lost from the tooth socket. A dry socket can be very painful, and normally starts a few days after extraction. If it occurs, please contact our office.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do to help with pain after my procedure?
Following your dental implant procedure, Dr. Assi will give you detailed instructions to help you feel comfortable during your recovery period. There are also basic steps you can take to help speed up your recovery, including:
- Reduce swelling by applying cold compresses to your face at 15-minute intervals.
- Only eat soft foods for the first few days, or until sensitivity reduces.
- Take extra care when brushing and flossing your teeth, especially around the surgical site.
- Take any over-the-counter medications as directed by Dr. Assi.
How many days should I rest after dental implant surgery?
If you received only one or two dental implants and didn’t undergo any bone or tissue grafts, recovery can be completed in as little as one to two days. However, if you receive multiple dental implants at one time as well as a graft, recovery could last between one and two weeks. Dr. Assi can address any questions you may have about recovery time on the day of your dental implant placement.