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The surgeon will provide you written preoperative and postoperative instructions to familiarize yourself with the surgery.
Arrange for someone to accompany you and drive you home after the procedure, especially if you have taken a sedative. You should not drive a car because you might be drowsy for several hours. It is also recommended to have someone with you upon your return at home to assist you when needed.
It is strongly suggested to get the drugs that have been prescribed to you right after your surgical appointment in order to have them at home if some pain appears or if you must take antibiotics. It is very important to take the medication considered essential by your surgeon and to use it according to the prescription.
Back at home, you will need to follow the instructions provided by your surgeon in order to avoid post-operative complications.
Light bleeding may occur a few hours after surgery. A small amount of blood, mixed with abundant saliva, may seem impressive, but in fact, chances are that this is only a small amount of blood. To stop the bleeding in the mouth, you can apply a gauze or a moist tea bag on the bleeding site and bite into it or apply firm pressure for 20 consecutive minutes. Bleeding should stop by itself.
We recommend that you put a towel on your pillow when you sleep in order to avoid staining the pillow with the small amount of blood that could ooze out of your mouth.
In case of doubt or abundant bleeding, it is always recommended to contact your surgeon.
It is normal to see some swelling (oedema) in the face after surgery. For the first 48 hours after surgery, lie with your head more elevated than the rest of the body and apply ice on your face for 15 minutes at a time followed by a period without ice of 15 minutes. You can use ice cubes in a plastic bag, an “ice pack” or a bag of frozen peas. This will not prevent swelling to appear, but it will be less important. The maximum of swelling usually occurs between two and three days after surgery and disappears after 7 to 10 days.
After 48 hours, the ice will not reduce swelling. You can then apply moist heat, with a wet washcloth or a bottle filled with hot water. The heat can be applied directly on your face, where the oedema is present.
Postoperative pain can be controlled by over-the-counter analgesics such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen or medication prescribed by the surgeon. It is recommended to take a first dose of pain medication before you feel any soreness. This will ensure your comfort when the effect of local anesthesia will fade out a few hours after surgery.
The recovery time after dental implant surgery varies from one patient to another and depends on the general health of the patient, the number of implants, whether or not a gingival or bone graft was required, and the motivation to follow the surgeon’s post-op instructions.
Remember that rest is essential to healing. During the first three first days after your surgery, only plan on doing non-strenuous activities (such as reading or watching television). Your surgeon will tell you when you can resume your normal routine.
A soft diet is recommended for a few days after the surgery to allow the wound to heal properly. In fact, biting into hard food could undermine the success of the procedure.
A normal diet can usually be introduced from 7 to 10 days after surgery, according to the surgeon’s recommendations. In some cases, the surgeon may recommend to extend the period of soft diet, but this extension is rather rare.
It is important to keep an excellent oral hygiene during the healing of the wound. Keeping your mouth clean will reduce the risk of developing an infection during the healing period. You will, however, have to adapt your tooth brushing in order to not disturb the wound unnecessarily.
Despite the skills of the surgeon and the precautions taken before and during the procedure, any surgery presents some risks and a potential for complications.
Complications in implantology can be avoided in large part through pre-op X-rays to assess the position of the important structures such as the inferior alveolar nerve and the maxillary sinuses.
Keep in mind that the following complications are rare if good precautions are taken to prevent them. Implantology treatments have a very high success rate.
Here are a few possible complications: