If you will be having dental implant placement surgery, being well-acquainted with the details of post-operative surgical instructions – or what you should or should not do after surgery – is very important in helping to ensure a comfortable, complete and complication-free recovery. While you will receive specific instructions from Dr. Arroyo about post-operative care according to your own particular procedure and circumstances, here are some general guidelines that can help you prepare for your recovery.
Your wound should not be disturbed at all on the day of your procedure. Avoid rinsing your mouth and spitting, and do not touch the wound with your fingers or tongue. Some patients will have healing abutments protruding through gum tissues at implant placement sites. It is very important that you do not chew on those sites until after your replacement teeth have been fitted.
Some light bleeding is to be expected for about 24 hours after your surgery. If you have heavier bleeding, applying pressure by biting on a gauze pad, placed directly on the wound, for 30 minutes will generally control it. If it does not, call Dr. Arroyo’s office for instructions.
Your wound should not be disturbed at all on the day of your procedure. Avoid rinsing your mouth and spitting, and do not touch the wound with your fingers or tongue. Some patients will have healing abutments protruding through gum tissues at implant placement sites. It is very important that you do not chew on those sites until after your replacement teeth have been fitted.If your procedure will be performed under local anesthesia alone or a combination of local anesthesia and nitrous oxide, you may eat a light meal several hours before your appointment. If you are taking any medications regularly, be they prescription, non-prescription or herbal supplements, be sure that you have made Dr. Arroyo aware of them and have received instructions as to whether they are safe to take as usual on the day of your procedure or the days leading up to it. If your procedure will be extensive, having someone available to drive you home afterwards may be wise.
Staying hydrated throughout your recovery is very important, so drink lots of fluids, but avoid hot liquids. Soft foods can be eaten on the day of your surgery as tolerated, but hot food should avoided as well. Dr. Arroyo will let you know how long you should wait to move away from soft foods and back to a normal diet.
You will experience some pain and discomfort after surgery. In most cases, it is mild to moderate, and can be controlled with over the counter pain medication. Depending upon your circumstances, Dr. Arroyo may prescribe a stronger pain killer to be used for the first days after your procedure. Pain medication should be started as son as you feel the anesthesia wearing off.
If you are prescribed antibiotics, it is essential to take them as directed to help avoid infection at your surgical sites.
Dr. Arroyo will instruct you on oral care, and may provide you with a prescription-strength rinse. Generally, patients are advised to use that rinse twice daily, and beginning the day after surgery, rinsing with warm salt water 4 or 5 times daily is typically recommended – especially after meals.
Strenuous activity on the day of your surgery is off-limits, since it elevates blood pressure which can lead to excessive bleeding. Resting for the first 24 hours is recommended. Heavy lifting, workouts and running should be avoided for 7 to 10 days in most cases. Dr. Arroyo will have more specific recommendations for you according to your individual circumstances.
Most patients are advised not to wear their temporary denture or flipper for at least 10 days after surgery to ensure proper healing and recovery.Of course, no two patients or procedures are exactly the same, so your specific post-surgical care recommendations may vary to some degree from these general guidelines.
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