Post-Op Care for Implant/Graft
The Implant is most fragile during the first 5 weeks after the surgery. Be careful to avoid chewing, biting, or any way disturbing the surgical area; this includes pulling or distending your lip or cheek. It is natural for the tissue over and around the site to appear red or whitish in color, even for up to ten days, as a top layer of new tissue grows then sloughs off.
Some slight bleeding from the site may occur for the first few days after the operation. This is not unusual. If the bleeding seems continuous and profuse, apply gentle pressure with a damp gauze or tea bag (not herbal) to the site of the bleeding and hold for 20 minutes. Repeat if necessary. Under no circumstances should rinsing be used to control bleeding. If bleeding persists, call your doctor. If special oral rinses have been recommended, rinse gently.
Some discomfort can be expected when the anesthetic wears off. This can be minimized by taking your pain medication as soon as possible after the operation. You may notice some sensitivity in your teeth, especially to cold. This will subside in eight to ten weeks. If anti-inflammatory medicines were prescribed please take them even if you don’t have discomfort.
In some cases, swelling is to be expected, this can be minimized by lying with your head slightly elevated. Avoid placing pressure on any area of swelling if it is near the graft. If swelling occurs past the third day of surgery or is accompanied by fever/exudates, call your doctor at once.
Optimal oral hygiene is VERY IMPORTANT. Brush unaffected teeth as you normally would. In the area of the graft try swabbing the teeth with a Q-tip or gauze. After three days you should try gently brushing the area with a soft toothbrush. Brush your tongue for additional comfort and freshness.
Nutrition is important following surgery. Attempt to follow your regular diet. You may wish to eat soft foods for the first week. Avoid the following: hot beverages, spicy foods, and hard crunchy foods (ie. nuts, chips, crusty bread). Multi vitamins will be an important part of your diet and will be necessary to aid in the regeneration of new tissue required during the healing process.
AVOID SMOKING. Smoking will delay would healing and may cause premature loss of the graft.