Implants Post-Op Instructions

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that use titanium screws implanted into the gums. They replace severely damaged, decayed, or missing teeth, and restore their function and aesthetics. After having dental implants placed, you will have certain post-op protocols to follow.

Post-Op Protocols for Dental Implants:

What can I expect after having dental implants placed?

For 24 hours after your dental implant placement procedure, you will need to avoid the following:

Vigorous physical activity
Drinking through a straw or sucking
Swishing liquids in your mouth
Smoking (should hold off for four days if possible)
Drinking alcohol
Hot or spicy foods
Strong mouthwashes containing alcohol
Brushing your teeth
Using a rotary toothbrush (you will need to use a manual toothbrush for at least 3 months)

Additionally, you will likely experience swelling, bruising, and discomfort. Swelling usually peaks on the third day and then gets better from there. For the first two days, you can use ice for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off. From day three on, you can use heat for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.

Please call our office if you have uncontrollable pain, excessive or severe bleeding, marked fever, excessive swelling, or reactions to medications such as rash, itching, or breathing issues.

When and what can I eat?

You can begin eating as soon as you regain feeling in your mouth and after two hours has passed. For the first two days, it is recommended to eat soft, cool foods. Foods that are excessively hot or spicy can irritate the implant site and cause additional bleeding. Ideal foods include: yogurt, scrambled eggs, applesauce, pudding, ice cream, steamed veggies, fish (without bones), mashed potatoes, pasta, cottage cheese, or any food that is not hard or chewy. You may also want to avoid foods that can become trapped around the surgical site, such as rice. You should also be sure to drink plenty of liquids while you recover. However, avoid alcoholic beverages for at least the first 48 hours, as alcohol can hinder the recovery process and may also interact with your medications.

How do I manage my pain?

After your dental implants are placed, some pain is to be expected. However, this can be managed with pain medications. You may be prescribed pain medication or recieve directions for over the counter pain medications. Be sure to follow all instructions regarding your pain medication and do not exceed the recommended dosages. We recommend starting your pain medications before the anesthetic wears off. Depending on the type and dosage of the pain medication you are taking, you may need to avoid driving or drinking alcohol.

How do I care for my dental implants?

When you first have your dental implants placed, you will need to follow special instructions so they heal properly. As mentioned before, you will want to abstain from smoking, drinking through a straw, sucking, and swishing liquid in the first 24 hours. In fact, drinking from a straw and smoking should be avoided for an entire week. When eating, you may also want to chew on the opposite side of your dental implant.

Additionally, you will need to avoid brushing your teeth within the first 24 hours of your implant placement. When you begin brushing again, take care around the dental implant. You will also need to avoid rinsing within the first 24 hours after your implant placement, and then begin rinsing very gently with a warm salt water rinse. A warm salt water rinse is composed of one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. You will want to carefully swish this mixture around inside your mouth, then spit. During your recovery, you will need to avoid mouthwash with alcohol altogether.

You will also need to take any prescribed antibiotics as directed. While taking antibiotics, you may want to also take probiotics or eat yogurt to replenish the good bacteria in your gut. Also, if you are a woman, be advised that certain antibiotics will reduce the effectiveness of birth control.

About a week after your implant placement, you will have a follow-up appointment to make sure everything is healing properly. At this point, your gums should be more pink, less swollen, and should bleed less during flossing. If you had sutures placed, these will either fall out on their own or be removed about 3-4 weeks after your procedure.

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