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Post-Operative Instructions:
Dental Implants

Dental implant post-operative instructions


Please follow these guidelines or call our office for clarification. Our number is (406) 752-4375. For after-hours, Dr. Jerman’s cell is (406) 871-8360.

DIET:

Eat a soft diet for the first week. Examples of soft foods include: soups, puddings, yogurt, milkshakes, pasta, scrambled eggs, etc. If your implant is covered then you may advance to a normal diet after the first week, while still avoiding the surgical site when eating. If your implant is not covered with tissue, avoid heavy contact with food at that site until the bone has healed (between 3 and 6 months). Avoid extremely hot foods. Do not use a straw for the first few days after surgery. If you are a diabetic, then you may want to consult your physician for dietary recommendations that allow for a soft diet.

EXERCISE CARE:

Be very careful with the surgical site for the first several days after surgery. Do not probe the area. Allow the stitches to dissolve normally.

BLEEDING:

Intermittent bleeding or oozing overnight is normal. Bleeding may be controlled by placing fresh, slightly moistened gauze over the area(s) and gently biting on the gauze for 30 to 45 minutes at a time.

PERSISTENT BLEEDING:

Bleeding should never be severe. If it is, please call our office or our after-hours contact.

SWELLING:

Swelling is often associated with oral surgery. It can be minimized by using a cold pack, ice bag, or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel and applied firmly to the cheek adjacent to the surgical area. This may be applied for 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off during the first 24 to 48 hours after surgery.

PAIN:

Unfortunately, most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort. You will usually have a prescription for pain medication. Please begin your pain medication prior to the “numbing” wearing off. The pain will gradually decrease over the next week. If you find you are taking large amounts of pain medicine at frequent intervals, please call our office. If you anticipate needing more prescription medication for the weekend, you must call for a refill during weekday business hours.

NAUSEA:

Nausea is a relatively common symptom after surgery. Sometimes pain medications are the cause. Nausea can be reduced by preceding each pain pill with a small amount of soft food and taking the pill with a large glass of water. Sometimes carbonated beverages will help as well. Please call our office if nausea does not seem to resolve.

MOUTH RINSES:

Keeping your mouth clean after surgery is essential. You may gently rinse 24 hours from the time of surgery. Please begin your prescribed mouth rinse 2 to 3 times a day beginning 24 hours after surgery.

BRUSHING:

Begin your normal oral hygiene routine as soon as possible after surgery. Stay away from the surgical site with your toothbrush for the first 5 days, then very gently use your toothbrush after the bristles have been softened with hot water.

IMMEDIATE IMPLANT PLACEMENT:

If your implant was placed at the same time your tooth was removed it will either be covered, have a healing collar, or have a temporary tooth exposed. Immediately placed implants require the most care and caution. Please do not brush the surgical area until you have been evaluated at your follow-up appointment. You may brush your remaining teeth as normal. You may start gentle soaks with your prescribed antiseptic mouth rinse beginning 24 hours from surgery. Please do not rinse vigorously.

HEALING:

Implants take anywhere from 3 to 6 months to “osseointegrate” into the bone. If the implant was placed and a crown (top portion) or metal collar is visible, be careful with that area until integration has occurred (3 to 6 months). If the implant is covered with tissue, you don’t need to be as cautious. It is recommended to avoid vigorous physical activity for 3 weeks. This allows for the right amount of blood supply around the implant to be established.

It is our desire that your recovery is as smooth and as pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have questions about your progress please call the office. Calling during office hours will afford a faster response to your question or concern. PLEASE NOTE: Telephone calls for narcotic (painkiller) prescription renewal are ONLY accepted during office hours.

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