Instructions And Information
Following Implant Placement
After being discharged from hospital or following implant placement in our rooms, patients should return home and rest quietly. Placement of dental implants usually does not create a great deal of pain. However, carefully reading and following these instructions will ensure smooth and easy healing.
Antibiotics – You will have been given a prescription for antibiotics. On the day of implant placement, please take antibiotics as directed by the Pharmacist (usually 4 tablets, 1 hour before your appointment). You will be required to continue them post procedure.
Taking antibiotics before treatment only applies if the procedure is performed under local anaesthetic only.
Mouthwash – You will also have a prescription for a mouthwash containing chlorhexidine a antiseptic agent. This is to be used twice a day for 2-3 days prior as directed on the bottle and 1 hour prior to coming in for the implant placement.
Keeping mouth clean – Do not rinse mouth for at least 12 hours after implant placement, as rinsing interferes with blood clotting, proper wound closure and healing. Continue the prescribed mouthwash twice a day (morning and night) as well as warm salty water rinses after every meal for another 2 weeks once the implant is placed. Avoid vigorous mouth washing, only rinse mouth gently. Tooth brushing should continue as normal, with the exception of the implant site. After 2-3 days, brushing gently over the implant site is encouraged. This will assist with the break down of the stitches and ensure the area is clean. Some mild discomfort and bleeding is to be expected and not alarming.
Bleeding – Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is to be expected for at least 24 hours. Biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes can control excessive bleeding. If bleeding is so excessive and your mouth fills rapidly with blood, call your surgeon immediately. It is also not uncommon to have some bloody nasal discharge following upper jaw implant placement.
Pain – Expect some mild pain and tenderness. It is best to take pain relief before the numbness wears off. Your surgeon will advise if prescription pain relief is required. Over the counter medication like Nurofen or Paracetamol may be sufficient. Patient’s pain may peak 2-3 days post surgery.
Sutures (stitches) – If sutures have been placed, these will usually dissolve within 10-14 days. Some sutures may become loose and fall out prematurely. This will not pose any problem and may be ignored.
Swelling and bruising – It is not uncommon to experience some swelling and bruising around the mouth, cheek, eyes and side of the face. The amount of swelling varies between patients and also depends on the area of implant placement. The swelling and bruising may not appear immediately, but occur up to 2-3 days post-surgery. You can help to minimize the swelling by applying ice packs to the affected area. For the first 3 hours, apply the ice packs directly to the area, alternating on for 15 minutes, then off for 15 minutes. Sleeping in an elevated position will also help to reduce swelling.
Physical activity – Limit physical activity during the first 3 days after surgery. Over exertion may lead to post operative bleeding and discomfort.
Diet – Hot food and drinks should be avoided for approximately 2-3 hours, whilst mouth is still numb. After general anaesthetic or I.V. sedation, liquids should be initially taken. Do not use straws (the sucking motion can cause more bleeding by dislodging the blood clot). Food and drink can be taken freely according to patient’s tolerance. However patients may prefer to have soft foods for a few days following. If diet becomes restricted, you should compensate for this by increasing your fluid intake. At least 5-6 glasses of liquid should be taken daily. Try not to miss a single meal. You will feel better, have more strength, less discomfort and heal faster if you continue to eat.
Vomiting and nausea – It is not uncommon for patients to feel nauseous after an I.V. sedation or anaesthetic. Feeling nauseous could also be a reaction due to strong pain relief medication; the dose should be halved or regular paracetamol should be taken instead. If vomiting persists please call our office or your surgeon.
Partial denture – If you have a temporary partial denture it is advised that you wear it as minimal as possible. If your prosthesis is a ‘suck down’ you may take it out during meals (no chewing allowed). You must leave it out for the first 2 weeks following bone graft surgery to prevent damage to the wound and allow for swelling to resolve. If the denture touches the surgical area, we advise you to see your dentist or technician to have the denture altered.
If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days or a reaction to any medications, please call our office immediately on 03 5229 3200. If after hours, please call the surgeon on his mobile number which will be on the post-operative instructions you would have been given after your procedure.
Frequently asked questions and concerns –
Sore throat? – pain when swallowing is not uncommon. The muscles get swollen, especially after general anaesthetic. This will subside in 2-3 days.
Can see a metal cap poking through the gum? – This is nothing to be alarmed about. Once we have placed the implant into bone, we place a cap over the top (a healing abutment). While the gum is swollen you may not see it, however once the gum has shrunk back it may become visible. It is important to brush this healing abutment to keep it clean and prevent the gum from growing over. Only applicable if it is a single stage implant
Gritty, white stuff coming from the surgical area? – If you have had a bone graft (your surgeon will have made you aware), some of the synthetic material can occasionally be felt around the wound. This is not concerning as this will be the excess and the rest of the graft will be set and intact.
Mon-Fri: 9am to 5pm
Appointments outside of these normal hours may be available on some days