Dental Implant Instructions — Post-Op
It is very important to follow these instructions to improve the likelihood of successful implant placement and decrease the possibility of implant failure.
Please review our General Post-Operative instructions in addition to the following information that applies when dental implants have been placed to replace missing natural teeth.
General Care and Precautions:
- Do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. There will often be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue.
- You will notice that you cannot see the actual implants in your mouth as the gums cover the area. This is good. Do not stretch your lip daily to inspect the area. This can cause wound breakdown. In many instances a healing cap or abutment was placed over the implant. This will look silver and will be emerging through the gums. Again, do not stretch your lip daily to inspect the area. This can cause wound breakdown and lead to implant failure. Be very cautious not to eat or chew on these temporary implant covers as it will place undue movement on the implants below and can cause implant failure.
- Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection.
- We may prescribe an antibiotic rinse (Chlorhexidine, Periogard, Peridex) for certain procedures. This rinse should be used in the morning and at bedtime after routine mouth care. Do not eat or drink or rinse your mouth after using the medicated rinse. Using this rinse more than two times a day will cause staining of your teeth.
- Do not rinse or spit on the day of your surgery. Keeping your mouth clean after surgery is essential to reduce the risk of infection.
- Start salt water rinses the day following your procedure. Use one-half teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8 ounce glass of warm water and gently rinse with portions of the solution, taking five minutes to use the entire glassful. Repeat as often as you like, but at least four to five times daily and always after eating for the next five days.
- Do not brush the teeth in the area of surgery for 48 hours. When brushing, be very gentle. When expectorating, also be gentle.
- DO NOT SMOKE for at least two weeks following surgery. As discussed at your consultation, smoking dramatically increases the risk of implant failure. Dr. Campbell can prescribe a Nicoderm patch if you feel you need it.
Wearing your Prosthesis or Nightguards:
- Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures should not be used immediately after surgery until your post-operative appointment unless specifically instructed otherwise. Please contact the office if there is any question. If you have a temporary “flipper” to wear do not place it until the numbness in the area is gone. When it is placed it should not touch the gums in the area of the surgery. If it does, this can cause ulceration of the wound edges and breakdown of the suture margins.
Do not wear your flipper, partial or complete denture or nightguard until Dr. Campbell or your general dentist makes sure it will not interfere with implant healing and tells you it is OK to wear the dental appliance.
Diet Guide Points To Remember:
- For the first 90 days (3 months) the bone around your implants is healing. These first three
months are critical to the success of the procedure.
- In order to allow the bone around your implants to properly heal, you must be careful about
what you eat.
- During this healing period you may only eat SOFT FOODS ONLY!
- During this 90-day healing phase, you must stay away from raw vegetables, nuts, steaks, and
any food that requires prolonged chewing.
- Keep to liquids and to foods that are “fork-tender”
- Avoid strenuous activity like heavy lifting and exercising for 5-7 days
- Use mouth wash, if prescribed.
- Follow all medications per prescribing doctor.
- Remember, the bone around your implants is at its weakest during the next 90 days. The type
of food you eat plays a crucial role in the successful healing of the bone around the implants
that have just been placed.
3-Month Diet Recommendations
For the first 3 months after surgery it is important to not put undue pressure on the dental implants while they are heating. A diet which is soft will help in preventing too much stress on the implants which can cause them to fail.
- Mashed potatoes
- Ground meats (ground turkey, chicken, beef)
- Flaky fish (halibut, tilapia, salmon)
- Protein drinks
- Eggs (any style)
Do Not Eat:
- English muffins
- Chewing gum
- Meat/poultry with bones
- Raw Vegetables
For your own comfort and to decrease the possibility that the implant may not heal correctly, try to avoid chewing directly on the area or areas where the implant was placed until at least your post-operative appointment. Try to chew on the opposite side of your mouth if possible and avoid tough, chewy foods such as hard bread or steak
It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have questions about your progress, please call the office at 706-324-6106.