Post-op Care for Dental Implants
Hopefully, we’ve had a chance to address many of your concerns before leaving the office today. But just in case we didn’t, or if you need a reminder, here is some information about what to expect in the days following surgery.
Can I drive home?
If you were asleep for your surgery, it will take some time for your alertness and coordination to return to normal. You may also experience some blurring of vision following anesthesia. For these reasons, we recommend that you do not drive or operate machinery for the first 24 hours after surgery.
What if I notice bleeding after I leave the office?
Some oozing of blood from the surgical site is common after dental implants. This may occur for up to 48-72 hours following surgery. Your doctor has placed gauze sponges over the surgical site. Please continue to bite down firmly on these sponges for the first hour after surgery to help stop any bleeding. Please remember spitting and rinsing aggravates and stimulates bleeding. If you had implants placed in the upper jaw or if you had a sinus graft procedure bleeding from the nose is common. Do not blow your nose only blot and apply pressure.
What if the oozing is heavy?
Oozing can be quite heavy after some procedures. If the bleeding seems heavy, gently wipe out large clots from your mouth. Next, take two gauze sponges folded into fourths, or a moistened regular (not decaf or herbal) tea bag wrapped in gauze, and placed over the bleeding site. Bite down firmly for one hour without changing. Repeat the procedure if bleeding continues. In most cases, this will greatly reduce the amount of oozing. If active bleeding continues despite these measures, please call the office and let us know.
When can I have something to eat?
About an hour after surgery, you may remove the gauze sponges that have been placed in your mouth and have something to eat. Be sure to eat foods that are soft for the first 24 hours after surgery. Avoid hot foods and drinks for several hours after surgery. Also do not drink from a straw for at least 24 hours. These precautions will give your mouth a better chance to heal properly.
Will my recovery time be painful?
The amount of discomfort you’ll feel after surgery usually depends on how extensive your surgery was. If your doctor did not give you a prescription for pain medication at the office, he probably feels that your discomfort will be minimal. Ibuprofen or Tylenol should be adequate. The local anesthetic used during surgery will begin to wear off within 2 to 4 hours and you may begin to feel less comfortable after this time. Please take your first dose of either the prescription pain medication or the Ibuprofen/Tylenol after having something to eat and before the anesthetic starts to wear off.
Follow the directions on the medication bottle to know how much you should take. Be sure to call during regular office hours if the pain seems to be worsening instead of getting better after 5 to 7 days.
It’s not unusual for pain medications to cause nausea or even vomiting in some people. If this happens, try eating prior to or decreasing the amount of medication you’re taking. Over-the-counter pain medications cause less GI upset than narcotics. Try these if the narcotics seem to bother your stomach. If you still feel ill, stop taking the medication and call us during regular office hours so we can prescribe something else for your pain. DO NOT drive a motor vehicle, operate machinery or drink alcoholic beverages while taking prescription pain medication.