The First Hour
The first hour after dental implant placement is generally quite routine. Upon leaving the office, you will be biting down on a piece of gauze, which will help place light pressure on the surgical site. This pressure will aid in the coagulation of the blood and development of a clot. Although you will be sent home with additional gauze, it is unlikely you will need to change the gauze throughout the remainder of the day. Upon arrival at home, you can take the gauze out of your mouth and discard it, and this is also a good time to take your first round of medications or to eat and drink a light meal.
Although it is normal to have a red tint to your saliva for up to 24 hours after a surgical procedure, most commonly there is little bleeding after dental implant procedures. Changing the gauze once an hour allows for proper clot development and limiting any spitting, drinking, or removal of the gauze during each hour will be helpful.
Local Anesthetic/Numbing Medicine
The numbing medicine generally lasts from 4–6 hours after surgery and will allow plenty of time for you to get home and comfortable. It is important to start the medications as instructed to ensure the transition from being numb to no longer being numb is as smooth as possible.
Brushing your teeth is recommended after dental implant placement. The cleaner we can keep your mouth and the surgical site itself, the lower the risk of infection. Brushing the surgical site itself should be done VERY GENTLY, allowing the antibiotic mouth rinse to do most of the cleaning in that area. The rest of the teeth should be kept as clean as possible.
The first food or drink after implant surgery can be taken an hour after surgery. Once home and situated, the first gauze can be removed. Softer foods are generally better tolerated, and avoiding the surgical site itself when eating can be helpful. It is recommended to rinse with mouth rinse or salt water after every meal or drink other than water.
Healing Abutment – a temporary, dome-shaped, attachment engaging the implant that allows the gum tissue to develop around the healing implant.
Cover Screw – a temporary attachment that lies flush with the implant surface, of which the gums will grow over during the healing phase.