In order to assure the best possible result in placement of your dental implants, certain instructions should be followed both pre-operatively and post-operatively.
- If Dr. Pitts has prescribed antibiotics for your surgery, these should be started, as directed, the day before your surgery.
- The position of some dental implants requires a surgical stent to determine ideal placement. The stent is made prior to your implant surgery by the doctor who is restoring the implant. Whether or not you need a surgical stent will be determined at your initial consultation appointment with Dr. Pitts.
- If you are having IV sedation or General Anesthesia for your surgery, you should have nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before, and bring someone with you to take you home after the surgery. Take your antibiotic as directed with just a small sip of water.
- NO SMOKING for at least 48-72 hours post operatively. Smoking can be a large risk factor in post operative inflammation or infection which could lead to loss of your implant!
- After surgery, begin very gentle warm salt water rinses (1 tsp. salt for every 8 oz. of warm water). This can should be done three or four times daily to help clean and soothe the tissue at the surgery site. DO NOT us any type of mouthwash for at least one week. Rinsing with mouthwash can be overly stringent and drying to the tissue and inhibit healing.
- You can brush your teeth the day of surgery, but avoid the area of the implant. Also be careful with rinsing and spitting associated with brushing.
- After surgery, apply ice to your face (one hour on/one hour off) to help minimize post operative swelling. It is recommended that ice be used the day of and the day after surgery. After the first 48 hours, moist heat should be applied as needed for swelling or bruising.
- Take your antibiotic as prescribed. It is very important to finish you antibiotic. If you experience any problem with your medication or if you develop a fever or chills, let Dr. Pitts know right away.
- If swelling medication has been prescribed, start it after the surgery. There are six pills for the first days regimen. Three pills should be taken with a snack as soon as possible after the surgery, the remaining three pills are to be taken in the evening or at bedtime with a snack. Follow the instructions listed on the package for the remainder of the regimen.
- If you wear a flipper appliance that replaces the tooth where the implant was placed, you should avoid wearing the appliance for at least one week following surgery. Wearing the appliance too soon after the surgery could cause unnecessary stress to the area, could affect the way the tissue heals around the implant, and may lead to failure of the implant.
- If you wear a denture or partial denture which would cover the implant area, it should be left out for at least one week following surgery. A soft reline can be placed in your denture by your dentist at a later date, so that you can wear your denture or partial, after adequate healing has taken place.
- Maintain a soft diet for at least a week (foods the consistency of cooked pasta). You must avoid chewing in the area of the implant throughout the entire healing period, which may be 3 or 4 months. Also avoid anything that is hard, crunchy, chewy or small. These types of foods can be damaging to the surgery area and interfere with healing.
- Keep your head elevated for 24-48 hours post-operatively to lessen swelling and bleeding.
- Please call the office at 301-698-5208 if you have any questions or concerns. An answering service will answer the calls after our normal office hours and can put you in touch with Dr. Pitts.