Dental Implants Post-Procedure Instructions

Please read these instructions carefully in order to care for your mouth and your dental implants. Each patient and case is unique and so will be each patient’s post-operative experience. Common sense will often dictate appropriate care. However, please follow these guidelines or call our office for clarification, (706) 549-5033.

Pain

Unfortunately, all oral surgical procedures are accompanied by variable amounts of pain, so after your dental implants procedure, you will likely experience some discomfort. Each person and experience is different. Typical pain symptoms peak 1-2 days after the procedure and may last 3-7 days. Prescription pain medications will be used when appropriate. We also recommend supplementing with non-prescription pain medications as well, such as ibuprofen. It is important that prescription and non-prescription medications be used only as instructed, including all listed precautions (working, driving, alcohol intake etc.).

Swelling

Dental implants procedures are typically accompanied by variable amounts of swelling. Each person and experience is unique. Typically swelling peaks 1-2 days following the procedure, and can last 3-7 days, normally. We recommend using cold compresses to help limit swelling for the first 36 hours following surgery. We also recommend using warm compresses starting on the 4th day following surgery to help relieve any residual swelling.

Temperatures/Fevers

It is a normal bodily response to surgery to have an elevated temperature for 2-3 days following the dental implants procedure. Patients should call the office any time they experience a temperature of greater than 101 degrees Fahrenheit. Patients may take acetaminophen or ibuprofen in response to a slightly elevated temperature, keeping in mind any specific contraindications for each person.

Bleeding

Intermittent bleeding or oozing is normal for up to 24 hours following surgery. Intermittent bleeding in most cases can be treated via pressure, namely gauze packs directly on the site, biting firmly for a minimum of 30 minutes before changing or removing the gauze. It is best to avoid using gauze if you are not bleeding. If the bleeding persists, patients should place a tea bag over the site and apply pressure.

Diet

Patients are advised to avoid foods that are overly hot, spicy, or salty for at least 48 hours after receiving dental implants. Patients should eat what is comfortable, and advance their diet as tolerated. We recommend patients avoid foods with small seeds or kernels such as popcorn, peanuts, strawberries, etc. for at least 2 weeks. Patients should avoid use of any straw for at least 5 days.

Nausea

Being nauseated following dental implants surgery is not uncommon. This may be due to anesthetics, pain medications, dehydration, or altered diet. We recommend patients take any medications with food. We also recommend that patients make their best effort to remain hydrated.

Care

In general, the cleaner the surgical site, the better the area will heal. Patients should begin brushing their teeth normally as soon as comfortable, using a soft bristle toothbrush, starting the day after surgery. Patients should rinse with salt water (8oz. with ¼ teaspoon of salt) 4-5 times daily for the first week following surgery. Patients should avoid spitting for 5 days.

Activity

We recommend patients limit their physical activity for the first 2-3 days following dental implants surgery, keeping in mind each patient and case is unique. NO SMOKING OR TOBACCO for 5 days.

Dry Socket

Dry socket is exceedingly rare, regardless of the information presented on the internet and other sources. Discomfort and swelling normally increase over the first 1-2 days and then begin to improve. Pain from dry sockets usually begins around the 3-4 the day following your dental implants surgery, as an intense throbbing pain that radiates and shows no improvement with time or pain medications. Patients should call the office if they are concerned about dry socket.