Do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. There will be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue.
Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding (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 continues, please call for further instructions.
Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag, plastic bag filled with ice, or a towel filled with ice on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously, and as often as possible for the first 36 hours.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.
You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate pain, one to two Tylenol® or Extra Strength Tylenol® may be taken every three to four hours. Ibuprofen (Advil® or Motrin®) may be taken instead of Tylenol®. Ibuprofen, bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets. Two to three tablets may be taken every three to four hours as needed for pain. For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed. Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it.
Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection.
Brushing your teeth with the healing abutments is not a problem. Be gentle initially when brushing the surgical areas.
Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. The night of surgery, use the prescribed Peridex Oral Rinse before bed. The day after surgery, the Peridex should be used twice daily, after breakfast and before bed. Be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds then spit it out. Warm salt-water rinses (one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) should be used at least four to five times a day, as well, especially after meals.
Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you are considering exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. Keep in mind that you are probably not taking normal nourishment. This may weaken you and further limit your ability to exercise.
Wearing Your Prosthesis
Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures should not be used immediately after surgery and for at least ten days. This was discussed in the preoperative consultation.
If you have additional questions or concerns, call our Washington, D.C. office at (202) 386-7100.