Home Care for Your Temporary Teeth & Dental Implants

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After Your Surgery

Post-Operative Instructions

General Anesthesia Precautions

**Do not leave the patient unattended for the first 12 hours.

**Please closely supervise the patient when getting up or going to the bathroom.

Medications

Please refer to your medication information sheets if you were given prescriptions. If you have any reaction to medications prescribed, call the doctor immediately.

Use of Gauze for Bleeding

For the first hour after surgery:

If bleeding is present, identify where the bleeding is coming from and keep firm pressure directly on the surgical site. Bleeding may be occurring around or under your new temporary teeth.

If bleeding continues:

Take one piece of gauze and fold it in quarters, creating a firm pad, and place the pad over the surgical site. Use firm biting pressure where possible (extraction site in the back), or direct finger pressure by holding the gauze in the area of the temporary teeth. You may have to repeat this procedure several times. The bleeding should stop within 2–3 hours, but you can expect to see blood-tinged saliva for up to 24–48 hours following surgery.

If bleeding is heavy or continues after 2 hours, moisten a tea bag, place it on the surgical site, and apply pressure. This usually stops the bleeding.

Please remember that most bleeding is controlled and stopped with a well-positioned gauze or tea bag with direct pressure. If bleeding is heavy or continues after 24 hours, call the doctor. Do not rinse, spit, or use a straw on the day of surgery, as this can cause bleeding to resume.

To Reduce Swelling

Ice for the initial 24 hours after surgery. Use ice packs applied to the face in 20-minute intervals (20 minutes on, 20 minutes off). Do not exceed 20 minutes in one area, as this can cause tissue injury. If oral surgery has been performed on both the right and left sides, it is recommended to use one ice pack and alternate sides every 20 minutes. This is the most effective way to reduce swelling. Swelling usually reaches its maximum 2 days following surgery. To help reduce swelling, sit semi-reclined in a reclining chair, or if lying down, keep your head elevated with 2–3 pillows.

Icing should be discontinued after 24 hours. While icing your face may feel good, it will act to increase swelling. Again, DO NOT ice beyond 24 hours.

Begin heat 1 day after surgery. Warm, moist compresses to the swollen area(s) will help to limit discomfort and aid in resolving swelling, which does occur. This can be applied for 1 to 2 hours for the next week or while swelling is present.

Diet

Your diet immediately following surgery:

When you get home, start with a milkshake, smoothie, or other thick liquid using a spoon, NOT a straw. Your diet should be limited to cool and soft foods for the first day. Sometimes local anesthesia may last for many hours, and therefore hot foods or liquids may cause a burn because you are numb.

Your diet for the next several weeks and months:

Your diet should consist of soft foods only. You should not chew with your new temporary teeth for the next several months while the implants are healing. A good rule is that any food that makes noise should not be eaten. The following are some suggestions of softer foods: pancakes or other breakfast foods, pastas like macaroni and cheese or spaghetti, and fish. Many other foods can be eaten but have to be prepared properly, such as chopping salads, steaming vegetables, etc.

Do not drink hot liquids. Coffee or tea should be warm, not hot, during the healing process of your implants.

Rinsing

Rinse with warm salt water or tap water beginning 2 days after surgery: ½ teaspoon of salt to 4–5 oz of warm water, and rinse gently at least 4 to 6 times daily.

Do not use mouthwash such as Scope® or Listerine®, as these can irritate the surgical sites. If given a prescription for mouthwash, use as directed on the bottle beginning 24 hours after surgery.

Your New Temporary Teeth

After surgery, your bite will feel altered at first. It may take several days or weeks to begin to feel normal. If you have pain with biting or high areas with your bite, contact your restorative dentist so that they may carefully adjust this. If your temporary teeth move, shift, or break, contact your restorative dentist immediately.

Over the next several months, your bite and the way you feel your teeth biting together will be different. Using your new temporary teeth to bite and chew will take several months to normalize. This is a common process when adjusting to your implant teeth. Your restorative dentist will work closely with you to provide a new bite with maximum comfort.

Oral Hygiene (Brushing and Flossing)

After your procedure, you may brush your temporary teeth, but do not brush or floss the gum areas until the stitches have dissolved. This may take several weeks. Resume brushing other areas of your mouth and teeth after surgery, bring careful to avoid the surgical sites. It is not unusual to see traces of blood on your toothbrush.

Several weeks after your procedure, your restorative dentist will instruct you on the use of floss and other adjunct procedures to keep your new temporary teeth clean. Gentle use of a Waterpik® can also be useful.

Physical Activity/Exercising

Rest is recommended for the first 48 hours following surgery. Exercise should be resumed no sooner than 5 days after surgery. Begin exercising slowly. If you are feeling weak, do not push yourself. This is an indication that you need more time to heal before resuming vigorous physical activity. Also, avoid activity that may cause trauma to your new teeth and implants, such as active team sports.

Smoking and Vaping

The nicotine in smoking and vaping after implant procedures can delay healing and even cause implant failure. Our preference would be that you work with your physician to initiate a smoking or vaping cessation program. Smoking will also cause staining of your new temporary teeth. Try to refrain from smoking and vaping for at least 5 days after surgery.

Stitches

Stitches that have been placed are usually dissolving and will fall out on their own. It is not unusual for one or more to fall out before dissolving.

Follow-Up Visits

It is imperative for proper healing that you are seen for all scheduled follow-up appointments at our office and with your dentist.

When to Call the Doctor

If there is a drug reaction, significant swelling, persistent pain or bleeding, or any other unusual reactions, please call the office immediately. Additionally, if you have any questions during the post-operative period, do not hesitate to call. There is an answering service to respond to emergencies at all times when the office is closed.

Questions?
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Please contact our office if you have any questions or issues with these instructions.

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