INSTRUCTIONS AFTER PLACEMENT OF DENTAL IMPLANT OR BONE GRAFTING
With the guidelines provided by Drs. Horsley and Walker at Harvest Dental, you can heal in in a timely and safe manner. We ask that you call our dentists in Farmersville and Van Alstyne, Texas, if you have any concerns or continuing issues with your extraction site.
Do not disturb the area of surgery. For the first few hours, the first stages of healing are aided by placing clean gauze over the affected area and gently biting down. You should avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the surgical site for the first day. Certainly, avoid chewing on the dental implant or bone graft.
- Controlling bleeding: Bite down gently on gauze placed at the dental implant or bone graft site for one hour. After one hour, remove the gauze. Some bleeding is normal in the first 24 hours but if your mouth fills with blood quickly, place new gauze over the surgical site and bite gently. If you continue to bleed heavily, please call the office immediately for further instructions.
- Controlling swelling: If swelling occurs after your surgery, a cold compress should be applied as soon as possible. A good cold compress can be made by placing ice and water in a Ziploc bag. Cover the Ziploc bag with a washcloth before applying it to your face. Place the cold compress on your face for 20 minutes, and take it off for 20 minutes. This works well for the first 24 to 36 hours after surgery.
- Controlling pain: The first dose of oral pain relief should be taken before the local anesthetic wears off. Take 800 mg of ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) every six to eight hours for four to five days after surgery. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) may be taken instead of ibuprofen, but do not take acetaminophen if you are taking your prescribed pain medication. The acetaminophen dosage is 500-1000 mg every six to eight hours. These over-the-counter pain relievers will help minimize inflammation and reduce the amount of prescription pain medication needed. Do not take the above medications if you are allergic to them or your physician has instructed you not to take them. For severe pain, take your prescribed pain medication as directed.
- Antibiotics: If antibiotics are prescribed, you should take them as directed until they are completely gone. They help prevent infection and ensure healing.
- Diet: Nutrition is critical for proper healing. Sometimes a cool, soft diet may be necessary for the first few days following surgery. Most patients are able to resume a regular diet within a short amount of time. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids. Avoid using a straw and carbonated beverages, such as soda, beer, or champagne, for the first 48 hours after surgery. Return to your normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise instructed.
- Oral hygiene: Do not rinse out your mouth until the night of your surgery. Before bed, use the prescribed Peridex Oral Rinse for at least 30 seconds before you spit it out. For the next seven days (or until the bottle is finished), you should use the Peridex Oral Rinse twice a day: after breakfast and just before bed. You should also rinse your mouth out at least four or five times a day with a solution of ½ tablespoon of salt diluted in 8 ounces of warm water. It is especially important to rinse after eating. Continue to rinse for two to three weeks after your surgery. Rinsing helps to ensure that food debris is not trapped in the healing site and allows it to heal properly. Regular brushing and flossing may resume the day of surgery, but this is to be done with special caution you should avoid the surgical site.
- Other medications: If you take prescription medications for other reasons such as high blood pressure, diabetes, etc., please continue to take them as normal, unless you are otherwise directed.
- Activities: After surgery, refrain from heavy lifting or strenuous physical activities. Avoid bending over and placing your head below your heart. These activities increase the blood pressure in your head and can cause the surgical site to bleed.
- Smoking: Nothing causes more problems in the healing of dental surgery procedures than smoking. The physical action of taking a drag and blowing the smoke out prevents the dental implant or bone graft material from properly attaching to the gum and bone. Smoking also causes poor circulation and thus prolongs and inhibits the healing process. Smokers have the highest rate of dental implant and bone graft failures. Therefore, my recommendation is that you do not smoke—for your overall health and for the success of your dental implant or bone graft. If you choose to smoke, I would wait at least 14 days after your procedure. Follow this simple rule: “If your mouth hurts at all, don’t smoke!”
- Avoid chewing on your dental implant or bone graft for 12 weeks. An occasional bite on your dental implant or bone graft will most likely not cause them to fail. Consistently chewing on your implant or bone graft may prevent proper integration and therefore cause failure.
- Be sure to follow these instructions carefully. Only in this way will you avoid complications that lead to unnecessary discomfort and delayed recovery. Should any reaction or complication arise, notify the office immediately. If you need to contact Dr. Aaron Horsley-Teny after office hours, please call the office at the number on the top of this page, and follow the voicemail’s instructions. I will make every attempt to answer your emergency call promptly. Occasionally, your messages may not reach me. If you do not hear from me within 30 minutes, please call me back. Do this until your call has been answered. If at any time you feel this is a life-threatening emergency call 911 or go to the local emergency room.