After Placement of Dental Implants
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Directions For Patients Receiving Dental Implants
- Place ice packs on the outside of your face. Applying ice reduces swelling which peaks 24-48 hours after the procedure. Ice should be placed intermittently every 30 minutes for up to two days (20 mm. on, & 10 mm. off). Ice is not needed when you sleep.
- If you have been given a pain medication, take as directed for pain.
- If you have been given a prescription for an antibiotic or oral disinfectant (Peridex), take them as directed. Antibiotics should be taken at regular intervals, to keep a constant level of medication in your system.
- Expect oozing of blood from the surgical area. When mixed with saliva, this can appear to be significant. Should bleeding persist, bite softly on a cotton gauze soaked in warm water or a wet tea bag. Make certain the gauze is folded and thick enough to create “pressure” on the bleeding area. Use extra gauze if needed. If the bleeding is not controlled by this measure, please call the office at any hour.
- Do not chew directly on the side(s) of the operation for at least two weeks. Soft food is recommended during the first post-operative week. Smoking should be avoided and alcohol consumption reduced. There should be NO STRENUOUS EXERCISE FOR FOUR DAYS.
- Sleep with an elevated headrest for the first three nights after the operation to help reduce swelling and discomfort and the chance of bleeding.
- Starting the day after the operation, rinse your mouth with a saline (salt water) solution after each meal. Use a 1/4 tsp. of salt in 4 oz. of warm water. DO NOT RINSE FORCEFULLY. If you prefer to use mouthwash, use it gently as well.
Implant Care For Patients
The success of your implants depends upon your personal oral hygiene practices and regular visits to your hygienist and dentist. Professional cleaning should be done every three to four months.
It is extremely important for you to follow a daily program of oral hygiene at home. While cleaning should be done as often as possible, the most important times are after breakfast in the morning and after your last meal in the evening.
The following recommendations for cleaning around your implant abutments should be followed twice daily.
- Use a soft nylon bristle toothbrush, such as Oral-B, Butler, Reach or Colgate Plus. Before using the brush, rinse the bristles in hot water to soften them.
- Brush with an anti-plaque toothbrush, or with baking soda.
- Floss around each implant abutment at least twice a day with regular dental floss, Super Floss from Oral-B, nylon yarn or with a long strip of cotton gauze.
- Rinse at least 15 seconds with an anti-plaque mouthwash.
- If you have an irrigation system, add 1.5 cups of water to 2 caps of an anti-plaque mouthwash and irrigate around each implant abutment at a slow speed. This type of irrigation system is highly recommended to remove the plaque under your gums which harbors toxic bacteria. Rinsing out the toxins will lessen the chances for inflammation around the implant abutment.
- If you have an electric toothbrush (Braun, for example) use it to clean the implant abutments, then apply Perjdex.
- Monitor yourself at home in order to detect early signs of inflammation, and contact your doctor if any problems arise.
These suggestions are intended to help you maintain healthy tissue and successful implants. It is your responsibility to practice good oral hygiene every day for the optimum health of your implants.