Taking care of yourself after implant surgery

Dental implant surgery is a safe and common procedure. To make the most of your new smile and encourage your implants to fuse to your jawbone, be sure to give your mouth the opportunity to heal. Follow these seven easy tips for taking care of yourself after your procedure and you’ll be well on your way.

1.    Control bleeding at the surgical site

Immediately following your surgery your doctor will instruct you to bite firmly on a gauze pad to stop the bleeding at the implant site and encourage the formation of a blood clot.

2.    Ice your face to reduce swelling

Reducing swelling will make you more comfortable and aid the healing process. Apply an ice pack wrapped in a cloth to the outside of the surgical site, in 20 minutes on 20 minutes off intervals for relief.

3.    Take medications as instructed

Manage postop discomfort by following your doctor’s instructions for all medications in the days after your procedure.

4.    Get plenty of rest

Schedule some time off work to give your body ample time to rest. Strenuous activity can slow the healing process. Much of your healing will be done at night, while you are in bed, so make sure you get some good sleep.

5.    Keep your mouth clean

Brush and floss as normal to keep your mouth clean, being careful to avoid the implant site.

6.    Eat carefully

Chew on the opposite side of your mouth from the implant site and avoid difficult to eat foods. Do not use a straw as the suction can dislodge your blood clot.

7.    Reduce alcohol and tobacco use

Smoking and drinking alcohol hinders the healing process. While more time away from alcohol and tobacco is always better, a minimum of three days without drinking and several weeks without smoking is recommended.