After Dental Implant Surgery

Following dental implant surgery, patients must take detailed care of the area surrounding their new implant.  For the first month the dental implant is still integrating with the bone and tissues so the patient’s care routine will be slightly more involved during this initial period.  Above all, do not disturb the wound in the initial days that follow surgery.  Avoid rinsing, spitting, and touching the mouth for 24 hours after surgery to avoid contaminating or irritating the surgical site.  After dental implant surgery it’s important to follow these care instructions:

  • Antibiotics – In some cases, we will prescribe antibiotics. Patients should take all prescribed antibiotics to prevent infection at the surgical site. We also recommend warm saltwater rinses to help with tender tissue around the surgical site.
  • Bleeding - Blood in the patients’ saliva is normal during the first 24 hours following surgery.  We suggest biting on gauze pads to help control and lessen blood flow.  Gently bite down on the gauze pad and try to maintain constant pressure, repeating as often as needed, or until bleeding lessens.
  • Dealing with pain – Shortly after your dental implant surgery the anesthetic will wear off.  You should begin taking pain medication before this happens. Over-the-counter pain medication can be taken (e.g., Tylenol®, Aleve®, ibuprofen). We will also prescribe additional pain medication if needed. Always follow the doctors instructions regarding all pain medication prescribed.
  • Diet - We recommend an initial diet of soft foods that are high in protein, but patients can resume a normal diet as soon as they feel capable of doing so. Stay hydrated. It is critical that you are drinking plenty of fluids.
  • Hygiene – In order for the dental implants to heal properly, the surgical site must be kept clean. Continue to brush your teeth as you normally would, but avoid any sutures and do not brush the implant. The antibiotic and saltwater rinses will disinfect the implant itself. Flossing is still recommended, you will just need to take care to avoid the surgical site.
  • Swelling – After dental implant surgery some amount of swelling is to be expected. To help minimize swelling, try to keep your head elevated and lower your activity level as much as possible. Use ice packs for the first 48 hours and apply continuously, or as frequently as possible to minimize facial swelling.
  • Wearing your prosthesis or night guard – Partial dentures, flippers, full dentures, retainers, or night guards should not be used for at least 10 days following surgery. If there are any special circumstances, our practice will discuss those with you during your pre-operative consultation.
  • Smoking – Smoking after dental implant surgery has an increased risk of infection which also increases the risk of dental implants failing to integrate. We recommend that patients do not smoke for a minimum of 2 weeks after dental implant surgery.

What does recovery involve?

While each patient’s case is different, recovery after dental implant surgery happens in a series of phases. With your new dental implants, maintaining proper oral hygiene should be your primary focus. In order for the implant to properly fuse with the jawbone, it must remain clean. Also keep in mind that when properly cared for, a dental implant can serve its owner for life.

When maintaining proper hygiene, oral discomfort should gradually lessen. Swelling, bruising, and minor bleeding may still occur. If any pain does continue, feel free to continue using the pain medications.

Healing time differs depending on whether a patient receives immediate crown placement, or waits for the implant to fuse with the jawbone. Your recovery time frame will depend on your individual case and treatment plan; follow-up appointments will be scheduled accordingly.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office.

Testimonials.

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Testimonials

I had a problem with an implant put in by another dentist a year or so earlier. I met with Dr. Shelton and he was extremely helpful in evaluating the problem and helping me correct it. I found him to be very patient, kind, knowledgable and skilled. Also, he was not rushed and he took the time to listen and better understand and evaluate the issue. I greatly appreciate him for the way he helped me with the dental/implant problem I was having. Based on my experience with him, I highly recommend Dr. Steven Shelton!

Steven L.

Wow, wow, wow, wow! I have never been to a periodontist that was so friendly, kind, down to earth and relatable. Dr Shelton has so much care, concern and passion for his patience, he truly sees you get the success and work you dream of. A smile is worth a thousand words and we all haven’t been blessed with such a thing, so knowing he has the same goals in mind for me is what makes the journey and price worth every minute. Thank you Dr Shelton, you’re a hero in my book!!
I love his staff too, they’re kind and helpful and do all they can to see you have good care as well.

J.W.

Oral surgery isn't something anyone looks forward to but my experience with the very capable Dr. Shelton and his wonderful staff was the exception. Every step of the procedure he undertakes is clearly explained and he listens to his patient's questions and concerns. The facility is very clean, tidy and orderly. At the time of your appointment you are seen without much delay which means that they don't overbook appointments

I am very pleased with the treatment I received and recommend Dr. Shelton & staff without any reservations.

Larry S.

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