Dental implants: Pre- and post-operative care instructions
These pre- and post-operative care instructions will help you understand what to expect from your dental implants procedure.
Prior to your dental implant procedure, you may be given a prescription for antibiotics. On the day of your procedure, please take the antibiotics as directed by the pharmacist and written on the packaging. You will need to continue these antibiotics after the procedure as well on most occasions.
After implant surgery, you may experience the side effects described here and will also need to follow the instructions on this page. Following dental implant placement at hospital or in our rooms, patients should return home and rest quietly.
If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain or continued swelling after your surgery, or a reaction to any medications, please call our office on 5229 3200. If this occurs after hours, please call your surgeon on his mobile number, which can be found on the post-operative instructions you’ll receive after your procedure.
Dental implants do not usually create a great deal of pain. However, carefully reading and following these instructions will ensure the healing process goes smoothly.
You can expect some bleeding or redness in your saliva for at least 24 hours. Biting on gauze is not encouraged unless expressly encouraged to do so. This information will be provided at your procedure. It is also not uncommon to have some bloody nasal discharge following an upper jaw implant placement.
Make sure you consume some liquids after a general anaesthetic or IV sedation. You should also avoid hot food and drinks while your mouth is still numb.
You can consume food and drink freely according to your tolerance although, you may prefer to have soft foods for a few days following your procedure. If your diet becomes restricted, you should compensate for this by increasing your fluid intake. Try not to miss a single meal, however – you will feel better, have more strength, feel less discomfort and heal faster if you continue to eat.
Do not rinse your mouth for at least 12 hours after your implant placement, as rinsing interferes with blood clotting, proper wound closure and healing. Continue the prescribed mouthwash twice a day (morning and night), as well or use a warm salty water rinse after every meal for two weeks after your procedure. Avoid vigorous mouth washing – instead, rinse your mouth gently.
Tooth brushing should continue as normal, with the exception of the implant site. After two to three days, we encourage you to brush the implant site, as this will assist with the breakdown of the stitches and ensure the area is clean. You can expect some mild discomfort and bleeding.
Expect to feel some pain and tenderness following an implant, which may peak two or three days post-surgery. It’s best to take pain relief before the numbness wears off. Your surgeon will advise if prescription pain relief is required, but over-the-counter medication like Nurofen or paracetamol is usually sufficient.
If you have a temporary partial denture, we recommend that you wear it as little as possible. If your prosthesis is a ‘suck down’, you should take it out during meals to avoid wearing it while chewing. You must leave dentures out for the first two weeks following bone-graft surgery to prevent damage to the wound and allow the swelling to resolve.
If your denture touches the surgical area, we advise you to see your dentist or technician to have the denture adjusted.
Limit physical activity for the first three days after surgery, as overexertion may lead to post-operative bleeding and discomfort.
If sutures have been placed, these will usually dissolve within 10 to 14 days. Some sutures may become loose and fall out prematurely; however, this isn’t a problem and can be ignored.
It is not uncommon for patients to feel nauseous after an IV sedation or general anaesthetic. Feeling nauseous could also be a reaction to strong pain relief medication; if this is the case, halve your dosage, or take regular paracetamol instead. Usually, an anti-nausea medication has been provided to address this concern.
If vomiting persists, please call our office or your surgeon.
After dental implants, people often have the following questions and concerns.
Pain when swallowing is not uncommon, as the surrounding muscles get swollen – especially after a general anaesthetic. This should subside in two to three days.
This is nothing to be alarmed about. For single stage implants, we put a ‘cap’ (healing abutment) over the top of the implant. While the gum is swollen you may not see it, but once the gum has shrunk back it may become visible. It is important to brush this healing abutment to keep it clean and prevent the gum from growing over.
If you have had a bone graft, some of the material can occasionally be felt around the wound. Don’t be concerned – this is just excess material. The rest of the graft will be set and intact under the healing flap of gum.