After your dental implant and healing cap is placed, it is important to follow these care instructions to promote proper healing and ensure its long-term success. Immediately after your procedure, it’s important to listen and adhere to your doctor’s recovery instructions for the type of anesthetic used.
For the first hour after the procedure, gently bite down on the gauze that was placed over the implant site. If bleeding continues after one hour, place fresh sterile gauze over the site and reapply pressure for another 30 minutes. If bleeding returns, rinse carefully with cold water and apply a fresh gauze. Do not rinse vigorously as this could prolong bleeding.
For the first 24 to 48 hours, avoid excessive chewing, spitting, rinsing and physical activity. You can take an over-the-counter pain relie Be sure to drink lots of water, but don’t use a straw for at least 48 hours after the procedure, as suction could cause bleeding to occur.
Also, don’t smoke for at least a week, as this can also cause bleeding and hinder healing. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes, and side of the face is common and may peak two or three days after the procedure. Ice packs can be used to help with swelling and after 24 hours you can gently rinse with warm salt water three times per day to reduce pain and swelling.
Propping up your head with pillows when lying down will aid both swelling and bleeding. For the next seven to ten days, you should eat soft foods that require minimal chewing and drink plenty of cool fluids. Then you can resume a normal diet, but avoid chewing on the implant site, until your permanent restoration is attached.
A special healing cap is placed over the top of the implant and assists in healing the surrounding gum tissue. The healing cap is temporary and is meant to be removed by your doctor when your mouth is fully healed and ready for your permanent restoration. To protect the healing cap during the healing process, you should take extra care when eating, brushing and flossing.
Consult with your doctor to determine which type of toothbrush is the best for you to use. Additional brushes may be recommended that help clean the hard to reach areas around the implant. If your healing cap comes off, call your doctor’s office to schedule a time to reattach it. Additionally, if you experience persistent pain or bleeding outside of the norm after your procedure, it is important to contact your doctor’s office for assistance.