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Post Op Instructions

Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation

Wound Care Instructions for First 6 Weeks

DO these things to heal and keep mouth fresh

  • Gently ice on top of cheeks as much as possible for first 48 hours -10 minutes on, then 10 minutes off & repeat as much as possible.
  • Brush the tongue gently.
  • Brush any teeth that did not have surgery on them.
  • May very slowly & gently brush the lingual (inside next to tongue) of the teeth that had surgery on them.
  • May use provided rinse to “drool rinse” Turn head side to side and let rinse come out. No gargling,no swooshing & no spitting.
  • Eat a healthy diet using softer, easily chewable foods. May blend any healthy foods for a smoothie.
  • Lower sugar intake to maximize healing.
  • Use an extra soft toothbrush for 6 months after surgery.
  • Return to this office for all post-operative/polishing visits.

DO NOT do these things during the first 6 weeks after surgery

  • Don’t do anything that will disturb the surgical sites. Be your own best wound caretaker. Be as gentle as possible for 6 weeks.
  • No brushing, flossing or waterpik of the surgical sites.
  • Do not brush the biting surface of the teeth that had surgery.
  • No touching the surgical sites with fingers, tongue or any other object like cotton swabs,picks etc.
  • Do not look at the surgical sites. Keep cheek movements to minimum.
  • Do not sleep with hands under the cheek.
  • No spitting, use of straws, blowing balloons, snorkeling or use of wind instruments.
  • No smoking, no sucking candies or mints (Consult doctor for medical use marijuana).
  • No heavy aerobics, vigorous dancing, heavy lifting or physical activity for 1 week.
  • No scalding hot liquids or alcohol for 1 week after surgery.
  • No crunchy or sticky foods.

After Dental Implant Surgery

Following dental implant surgery, patients must take detailed care of the area surrounding their new implant.  For the first month the dental implant is still integrating with the bone and tissues so the patient’s care routine will be slightly more involved during this initial period.  Above all, do not disturb the wound in the initial days that follow surgery.  Avoid rinsing, spitting, and touching the mouth for 24 hours after surgery to avoid contaminating or irritating the surgical site.  After dental implant surgery it’s important to follow these care instructions:

  • Antibiotics – Patients should take all prescribed antibiotics to prevent infection at the surgical site.  Twenty-four hours after the surgery, patients should begin using the prescribed oral rinse twice daily alongside a warm saltwater rinse 4-5 times daily (preferably after every meal/snack).
  • Bleeding - Blood in the patients’ saliva is normal during the first 24 hours following surgery.  We suggest biting on gauze pads to help control and lessen blood flow.  Gently bite down on the gauze pad and try to maintain constant pressure, repeating as often as needed, or until bleeding lessens.
  • Dealing with pain – Shortly after your dental implant surgery the anesthetic will wear off.  You should begin taking pain medication before this happens. Any over-the-counter pain medication can be taken (e.g., Tylenol®, Aleve®, ibuprofen, etc.).
  • Diet - We recommend an initial diet of soft foods, but patients can resume a normal diet as soon as they feel capable of doing so. Stay hydrated. It is critical that you are drinking plenty of fluids.
  • Hygiene – In order for the dental implants to heal properly, the surgical site must be kept clean. Continue to brush your teeth as you normally would, but avoid any sutures and do not brush the implant. The antibiotic and saltwater rinses will disinfect the implant itself.
  • Swelling – After dental implant surgery some amount of swelling is to be expected. To help minimize swelling, try to keep your head elevated and lower your activity level as much as possible. Use ice packs for the first 48 hours and apply continuously, or as frequently as possible to minimize facial swelling.
  • Wearing your prosthesis or night guard – Partial dentures, flippers, full dentures, retainers, or night guards should not be used for at least 10 days following surgery. If there are any special circumstances, our practice will discuss those with you during your pre-operative consultation.
  • Smoking – Smoking after dental implant surgery has an increased risk of infection which also increases the risk of dental implants failing to integrate. We recommend that patients do not smoke for a minimum of 2 weeks after dental implant surgery.

What does recovery involve?

While each patient’s case is different, recovery after dental implant surgery happens in a series of phases. With your new dental implants, maintaining proper oral hygiene should be your primary focus. In order for the implant to properly fuse with the jawbone, it must remain clean. Also keep in mind that when properly cared for, a dental implant can serve its owner for life.

When maintaining proper hygiene, oral discomfort should gradually lessen. Swelling, bruising, and minor bleeding may still occur. If any pain does continue, feel free to continue using the pain medications.

Healing time differs depending on whether a patient receives immediate crown placement, or waits for the implant to fuse with the jawbone. Your recovery timeframe will depend on your individual case and treatment plan; follow-up appointments will be scheduled accordingly.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office.

Day of Surgery

  • If you are a minor, you must have a parent or guardian present for the extent of your surgery. All patients are required to have a licensed driver take them home after their appointment, and we prefer that you are accompanied by someone for at least 12 hours after your surgery.
  • Brush your teeth as usual, but be sure not to swallow any water or toothpaste. Do not wear any make up or nail polish.
  • If you regularly wear contact lenses, please remove them prior to surgery. Jewelry and dentures will also need to be removed before surgery.
  • We prefer that you wear loose, comfortable clothing and flat soled shoes. Shirts that have ¾ sleeve or shorter are ideal.
  • After surgery, you will not be fully aware, therefore cannot return to work or school, and cannot drive or operate other hazardous devices. Also, please make sure that you have assistance when climbing stairs or attempting other difficult tasks.

If you have any change in health the morning of you appointment, please contact the practice immediately. A cold or fever with chest and sinus congestion may dangerously affect surgery so it is imperative that our practice is made aware of the situation. If it is necessary to reschedule your appointment, we will notify you.

After Tooth Extractions

There are a number of reasons that your dentist might recommend a tooth extraction. Some dental patients suffer from tooth decay; others need to remove teeth hindering orthodontic treatment, whereas various patients simply need wisdom teeth removal. While a tooth extraction can be a serious dental procedure, aftercare is just as critical as the procedure itself. As the dental patient, it is important to understand that pain and the risk of infection can be lessened with proper care.

Care immediately following surgery:

  • Keep pressure on the gauze pad that your doctor placed over the surgical area by gently biting down. Dampen the gauze sponge with water if it begins to dry out. Try to maintain constant pressure in intervals of 45-60 minutes, repeating as often as needed, or until bleeding lessens.  Change the gauze as needed.
  • Keep your head elevated and try to lower your activity level as much as possible.
  • 48 hours after surgery, rinse mouth with warm salt water every 1-2 hours. Avoid using any mouthwash containing alcohol as it can irritate the wound.
  • Keep your mouth clean by brushing areas around the surgical site, but be sure to avoid sutures. Touching the wounded area in any fashion should be prevented.
  • Use ice packs to control swelling by placing them on facial areas near extraction.
  • Take all prescribed medications accordingly. If any itching or swelling occurs, contact the practice immediately, or go to the nearest emergency room.
  • Try to eat softer foods, preferably high in protein.
  • Keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, but do not drink through a straw for the next 5-7 days.
  • If you are a regular tobacco user refrain from smoking for the next 3-4 days as smoking increases your chances of getting a dry socket as well as an infection.

After your tooth has been extracted, healing will take some time. Within 3 to 14 days, your sutures should fall out or dissolve. For sutures that are non-resorbable, your doctor will schedule a follow-up appointment to remove the stitches for you. Your tooth’s empty socket will gradually fill in with bone over time and smooth over with adjacent tissues.