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Preparing for dental implant surgery is a significant milestone in the process of replacing a missing tooth. Choosing a dental implant for tooth replacement is an excellent and long-term solution that you’re sure to be happy with for years to come.

We’re here to help you know exactly what you can expect after your implant surgery so you can feel prepared and confident for your treatment. Follow our dental implant aftercare checklist, and you’ll be feeling like yourself in no time.

What to Do Immediately After Implant Surgery

Immediately after implant surgery, the most important thing you can do is not disturb the wound. Your mouth and body just went through a surgical procedure, so avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the area on the day of surgery.

A few things you can expect to see or experience immediately after implant surgery include:

  • Bleeding. Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for about 24 hours. Excessive bleeding where your mouth fills up rapidly with blood can be controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. If bleeding persists after 24 hours, contact your implant provider so they can be made aware of your healing.
  • Pain. You can begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate pain, take two Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Advil, or Motrin every 3-4 hours as needed to help manage pain. For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed by your doctor.
  • Antibiotics. Take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection.
  • Swelling. Some swelling is normal and expected to occur after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag wrapped in a thin towel on your cheek over the area of the surgery. Applying ice or a cold compress as much as possible for the first 48 hours will help to minimize swelling and promote healing.
  • Diet. Drink plenty of fluids and avoid any hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery, and return to a regular diet as soon as your body is comfortable and ready.

Dental Implant Success Begins with Home Care

Great oral hygiene is essential to promote healing. On the night of surgery, use the prescribed oral rinse before bed if it was prescribed to you. After surgery, the oral rinse should be used twice daily, after breakfast and before bed. When rinsing, be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds, spitting the liquid out afterward. Warm salt water rinses should be used at least 4-5 times a day, especially after meals, to help the mouth heal correctly and as quickly as possible.

Brushing your teeth and the healing abutment is not an issue, but be gentle initially with brushing around the surgical areas.

Let Your Body Rest and Heal

Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery, and allow your body to rest and recover. If you are considering exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. Discontinue exercising immediately if bleeding increases until your mouth has had proper time to heal. Consider delaying any exercise until you’re able to return to a regular diet, so your body has the proper fuel and ability to exercise safely.

Remember, rest is your friend when it comes to a recovering body, and pushing yourself will only cause a delay in healing.

What Happens Next on My Implant Journey?

You may need additional surgery to place the abutment or the piece where the crown will eventually attach. This minor surgery is typically done with local anesthesia in an outpatient setting.

To place the abutment:

  • Your oral surgeon reopens your gum to expose the dental implant.
  • The abutment is attached to the dental implant.
  • The gum tissue is then closed around, but not over, the abutment.

In some cases, the abutment is attached to the dental implant metal post when the post is implanted, which means you won’t need this extra surgical step.

It’s perfectly natural to feel a bit nervous about getting a dental implant, but our team at Aubrey Baudean DDS is here to help make the process as easy and manageable as possible. If you have any questions before, during, or after your dental implant procedure, we’re here to help and are just a phone call away!