Dental implants can last for a lifetime. However, they depend on you to take proper care of them. Fortunately, dental implants are easy to care for–but care starts immediately after your procedure.

After your dental implant procedure at Rice Dentistry, you’ll get specific instructions from your implant dentist, but here are some general guidelines and refreshers to help you get the best results from your dental implants.

Post-Surgery Care: What to Expect

After your dental implant surgery, it’s important to know the typical recovery experiences, which are all part of the normal healing process. Here’s a gentle overview:

  • Gentle Care for Your Comfort: A little bleeding is natural after the procedure and is usually very manageable. It might look more than it is when mixed with saliva, but this is common. A soft pressure with a gauze pad can be applied to the area, helping your body start the healing process effectively. This is only necessary briefly; we’ll guide you on exactly what to do.
  • Easing into Recovery: Some mild swelling or bruising can occur, but it’s nothing to worry about. It’s your body’s way of healing. To comfort any swelling, a gentle application of a cool ice pack can be soothing. The swelling is temporary and will subside soon, especially with the ice pack’s help. It’s all a part of the journey to your new smile.

We’ve designed these care steps to be as easy and comfortable as possible, ensuring you feel supported throughout your recovery. If you have any uncertainties or anything unusual, we’re here for you anytime to ensure your healing process is on the right track.

Activity

We recommend taking the rest of the day off after dental implant surgery. If you received sedation dentistry as part of your implant procedure, have a responsible adult stay with you until the sedation wears off. It’s not a bad idea to have them stay and care for you for the rest of the day, but that’s not necessary.

Avoid strenuous activities for ten days following your dental implant surgery. This includes strenuous work, highly active leisure activities, and vigorous exercise. After that, you can start phasing back into activity as your body accommodates it.

Oral Hygiene

Don’t brush or floss your teeth on the day of surgery. Don’t rinse or spit, either. The next day, you should brush and floss carefully, avoiding the surgical site. You can rinse the surgical site gently with salt water.

At your follow-up visits, we will evaluate your healing and tell you when to resume brushing and/or flossing at the surgical site.

Diet

Don’t eat anything while your mouth is numb. It’s surprisingly easy to suffer a significant bite injury when you can’t tell that you’re biting your tongue or cheeks. Also, avoid hot beverages until sensation returns. You can burn yourself badly and not know it.

When sensation returns, you can eat a soft food diet. You’re not restricted to a liquid diet, but everything you eat should be easily cut with a spoon without creating crumbs or fragments.

Even if you have a provisional crown, bridge, or denture, don’t chew on it immediately unless your implant dentist says it’s okay. Your implant dentist will clear you to start chewing with your provisional restoration. Avoid foods that break into small fragments–like chips, crackers, and nuts–until you are cleared to brush your surgical site.

Do not drink alcohol for at least 48 hours after surgery.

Medications

Take medications as directed by your dentist, always following the printed instructions on the label. Contact our office if you think the label instructions aren’t the same as what your dentist told you.

Whether you have a prescription for pain medication or are using over-the-counter (OTC) medications to control discomfort, start taking them as soon as sensation returns. This can help you head off the worst of the postsurgical discomfort. Remember to follow label instructions for OTC medications.

When to Contact Our Office

Most people don’t need to contact our office except at their scheduled follow-up appointments. Dental implant complications are rare. However, if you experience something you think is out of the ordinary, we want you to contact us without hesitation–we’d rather answer your questions and put your mind at ease over nothing than risk a possible complication going unreported.

In particular, contact us if:

  • You are confused about or don’t remember any of your postoperative instructions
  • Significant bleeding persists for more than 24 hours
  • Swelling or pain gets worse rather than better after the first few days
  • You experience signs of infection, including:
    • Fever
    • Stinky or foul discharge from the surgical site
    • Excessive warmth at the surgical site

Call us any time–don’t worry.

Are You Ready for Dental Implants?

If you’re considering dental implants in the Irvine area, our expert dentists can help. Please call (949) 551-5902 or use our online form today to request an appointment at Rice Dentistry.