After Placement of Dental Implants

Remarkable improvements have been made in the science of dental implants.  The implants we use today are stronger and more successful than ever before, so we have the greatest confidence in them.  Despite these tremendous improvements in dental implants and surgical techniques, the ultimate success of your implant(s) depends on your active cooperation and participation in treatment and postoperative care.  Below is a set of guidelines to instruct you in proper care following the placement of your implant(s) to ensure the best possible results.  It is important to note that the first two weeks after surgery are most important.

Do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery.

We highly recommend eliminating the use of tobacco and alcohol especially the first two weeks post-operatively.  


A steady oozing of blood may be expected from the wounds for the first several hours.  We also expect your saliva to be tinged with blood for the remainder of the day.  If bleeding becomes persistent, we recommend constant direct pressure to the area by biting firmly on gauze for 45 minutes to one hour.  A moistened tea bag can be used as well.  If bleeding continues please call for further instructions.


Bleeding into the tissues around the surgical area can result in a purplish bruise a few days following surgery. These areas will become yellow as they move towards the neck and shoulders a week later.  Warm moist heat may help speed its disappearance.  


Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery.  To minimize swelling, apply an ice pack, or towel filled with ice on the cheek in the area of surgery for 24 to 36 hours.  Facial swelling can be minimized by keeping head elevated with two pillows when lying flat.  Remember, “head above heart”.    


A soft texture to liquid diet is recommended for the period advised by your doctor.  Your diet should be bland, moderately warm to cold temperature (avoid hot temperature foods for the first two days).  Progression to a more solid diet is begun under advisement by your doctor. 


We expect your jaw will remain numb for several hours after your procedure.  We suggest that you begin taking the medication prescribed for pain while your mouth is still numb to stay ahead of the pain (avoid taking pain medicine on an empty stomach).  For mild to moderate pain, Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may be taken.  Ibuprofen, bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 2-3 tablets may be taken up to three times a day as needed for pain.  Aleive is an option, take as directed.  Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it.  If this is not adequate for your comfort, you should contact the office for further instructions.


Be sure to take any antibiotics (if prescribed) as directed.  Wound infections may occur several days following surgery.  One may be suspicious of an infection if there is a sudden increase in swelling, throbbing pain, fever and possibly a foul drainage from the wound.  If you suspect an infection, you should call the office as soon as possible and schedule an evaluation.


A slight elevation in temperature is expected on the evening of surgery.  However, it should not exceed 101 degrees fahrenheit.  Call the office for persistent fevers or fevers above 101 degrees fahrenheit.   

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing.  The night of surgery, use the prescribed Peridex Oral Rinse before bed.  The day after surgery, the Peridex should be used twice daily, after breakfast and before bed.  Be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds then gently spit it out.  Warm salt water rinses (teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) should be used at least 4-5 times a day, as well, especially after meals.  Brushing your teeth and the healing abutments (if exposed) is no problem.  Be gentle initially with brushing the surgical areas.  Using a cotton-tipped applicator with Peridex is an option to keep the surgical area clean.  Avoid commercial mouthwashes or other disinfectants during the first two weeks of healing.     


Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery.  If you are considering exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur.  If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising.  Keep in mind that you are probably not taking normal nourishment.  This may weaken you and further limit your ability to exercise.

Smoking and Use of Alcohol

The use of tobacco and alcohol should be eliminated or minimized during the first two weeks post-operatively.

Wearing your Prosthesis

Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures should not be used immediately after surgery and for at least 10 days to three weeks.  There are exceptions to this rule and every patient’s situation is different.  We recommend a thorough discussion with your doctor prior to wearing any prosthesis.  Even if your prosthesis is modified to be able to wear it post-operatively, chewing with any prosthesis for up to two weeks is highly discouraged.