After Dental Implants Surgery

The following information applies when you have had a dental implant placed to replace a missing tooth. It is important that you do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. There may be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue.


Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding (your mouth filling up rapidly with blood) can be controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on thebleeding wound and replaced every 30 minutes until the oozing stops. If bleeding continues please call for further instructions.


Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag, or a plastic bag or towel filled with ice on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice for 20 minute intervals for the first 24 hours. It is normal for the swelling to reach its maximum about 48-72 hours after surgery.


Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Only soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Continue a soft diet until otherwise directed by your doctor or surgical staff. You can usually return to a normal diet within a week.


You should begin taking pain medication before you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. DO NOT take any pain medication on an empty stomach. For mild pain, 1 or 2 Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every 4-6 hours. Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may be taken instead of Tylenol. Ibuprofen, bought over the counter, comes in 200 mg tablets: 2-3 tablets may be taken every 6 hours as needed for pain. For moderate pain 1-2 Tylenol and 3 Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may be taken together every 6 hours. For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed (if taking prescribed medication, discontinue taking Tylenol, or any other Acetaminophen product). Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it. If you experience an adverse reaction to any of the pain medication, discontinue use and contact our office.

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In some instances, antibiotics may be prescribed to help prevent infection. Be sure to finish the prescribed medication as directed.

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential to proper healing. Warm salt water rinses (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) should be used at least 4-5 times a day and after meals. Brushing your teeth is no problem. Brushing the healing abutments and surrounding tissue should be avoided for the first week. Be gentle initially when brushing the surgical areas.


Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you are considering exercise, be aware that throbbing or bleeding may occur at the surgical sites. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. Keep in mind that you are probably not getting adequate nutrition, which may cause weakness and further limit your ability to exercise.

Wearing your Prosthesis

Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures should be worn as directed by the doctor.

It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have questions about your progress, please call the office. Please try to call during office hours; however a 24-hour answering service is available if you need to speak to a doctor after hours.