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Post Operative Instructions after Implants:
1.  No smoking!  Smoking can increase your chances of complications.
2.  You may experience swelling.  You may even experience bruising.  This is normal!  In fact, swelling is expected to increase for 3 days after your procedure, peak at the 3rd to 4th day, and then start to decrease.  You may use ice packs for the first 24 hours to help with swelling.  You can apply these 20 mins on, 20 mins off over the area that was worked on.  Don't place ice directly on your face, as you may be numb in the area and may not feel how cold it actually gets!  If you have swelling that is increasing beyond the first week, or swelling that is returning to the site, please contact our office to make a post-operative appointment.
3.  Keep your post-operative appointments.  Your surgeon will check to make sure the surgical site is healing well.  
4.  Keep pressure with gauze at the implant site initially to ensure it does not excessively bleed.
5.  You may rinse your mouth with salt water, or the medicated rinse prescribed by your doctor.  Do not spit it out.  Instead, gently swish and let it run out of your mouth over the sink.
6.  Avoid any strenuous activity.  Usually, you will be able to return to school or work in 3-5 days.  No sports, running, or heavy activity for 2-3 weeks.
7.  You can clean the area by gently brushing.  You can purchase a baby tooth brush that has a small head and soft bristles to allow you to clean better.  You need not be aggressive, but gently swipe the area clean.  Continue to use the mouth rinse written by your doctor, or use salt water as directed above.  
9.  If stitches were used, in most circumstances, they will dissolve on their own.
10.  Pain is experienced differently by everyone.  We do expect some level of discomfort immediately after the procedure.  The pain should start decreasing by the 3rd post-operative day.  Your doctor may write you pain medication.  If a stronger pain medication is used, it may cause nausea/vomiting.  Additionally, it may cause you to become drowsy.  If you have to take a stronger pain medication, refrain from driving, or using heavy machinery.
11.  It is normal to experience some stiffness with limited jaw opening after surgery.  This will usually resolve in the first couple of weeks.
12. Take medications as prescribed and directed by your doctor.  Remember, medications may have side effects.  These can include upset stomach with antibiotics, or drowsiness with stronger pain medication (in which case you should avoid driving, or the use of machinary).
13.  Immediately after the procedure, start with a liquid diet (water, or Gatorade is recommended).  Later that evening, advance to a pureed diet, and a soft diet as tolerated (the consistency of scrambled eggs, soups, mashed potatoes, Mac n Cheese, yogurt, or ice cream).  As tolerated, over the next few days, you can advance to a normal diet.  If it hurts to eat, go back to a softer diet.  Gently brush without being too aggressive to keep the surgical site clean.
  • Persistent or heavy bleeding not controlled by pressure
  • Swelling increasing after the first week
  • Pain increasing beyond the first week
  • Foul taste, foul smell, any sort of drainage from the area
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