After Placement of Dental Implants
Dental implants are not exactly like teeth since they have no ligamentous attachment to the bone. Thus, dental implants cannot tolerate lateral movements of grinding, clenching, and heavy chewing like teeth can. In order to limit the damage to the bond between the dental implant and the bone, we strongly recommend regular, at least, annual check-ups with your restorative dentist to check your bite with occlusal paper and make sure the contact on the implant is light. We also recommend the use of a night guard so that you don’t grind on your implant when you are asleep.
These are just two safety measures we recommend so that you will have many years of benefit from your dental implant.
1. You may eat and drink the same day of the implant placement. However, you should follow a soft diet until you come back for your post-operative appointment. DO NOT chew anything hard or sharp in the area of the implant. AVOID chewing in the area of the implant.
2. Wear a night guard so that you do not grind on your implant when you are asleep. If you do not have a night guard, please contact your dentist to have them fabricate one for you. A night guard should be ready to use prior to your crown being placed.
3. You will be numb for approximately 2-6 hours after surgery because we may use a long acting local anesthetic.
4. It is recommended that you use ice packs on your face, 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off, for the first 12 hours after surgery.
5. If you have dentures, a partial or flipper, you CANNOT wear them for 10-14 days. You must get approval from Dr. Kawahara before you begin to wear your dentures/partial/flipper again.
6. Dr. Kawahara will write you a prescription for pain relief and an antibiotic. Please take the antibiotic until the prescription is gone. You may take the pain medication as needed.
7. Starting the day after surgery, please rinse your mouth with warm salt water 5-6 times a day. Also rinse with the prescription Peridex rinse as directed. This will help you heal faster. Continue daily rinsing for at least one week or until you come for your post-operative appointment.
8. DO NOT use any electric toothbrushes around the implant when you brush your teeth. Avoid brushing the implant itself.
9. If you are taking any bone density medications, DO NOT resume them unless cleared by Dr. Kawahara.