After Placement of Dental Implants

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.


Discomfort following oral surgery usually begins as the local anesthetic diminishes. Take the prescribed pain medications before the local anesthetic wears off to minimize any pain, unless otherwise instructed. For mild to moderate pain, take ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) every 6 hours for the first 2 days after surgery.  This may provide adequate pain control and eliminate the need to take a narcotic. If the ibuprofen does not control your pain adequately, you can then take a narcotic pain medication, if one was prescribed. We recommend alternating between the ibuprofen and narcotic every 3 hours.


It is important to take and finish the prescribed antibiotic as ordered. Notify the surgeon if a complication arises while taking any prescription drug. Please be aware that Penicillin, as well as other common forms of antibiotics, may reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives. You should consider another form of birth control while taking these medications.  


When taking narcotic pain medication or sedatives you should not drive a car, use dangerous equipment, drink alcohol, or assume critical responsibilities. You should not drive a car for 24 hours after receiving an IV anesthetic. 

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Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for the first 24 hours following oral surgery. If there is a persistent ooze, moisten gauze packs with cold water, place over site and bite down with firm steady pressure for 30 minutes.  Continue this every 30 minutes until the flow of blood stops. If bleeding continues please call for further instructions.



Swelling is a normal occurrence after dental implant surgery and may continue to increase during the first 24 to 72 hours. During the first 48 hours cold compresses or ice bags may be applied to the affected areas, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off to minimize the swelling.  Starting the 3rd post-operative day, warm compresses can be used to facilitate the resolution of swelling.  


Do not chew on the surgical site following your surgery.  All chewing should be done on the opposing side of the surgical site. Soft foods and drinking plenty of fluids are highly recommended. Avoid all foods that are hard, brittle, hot or spicy. Avoid these foods until your doctor instructs you it is alright to advance your diet and resume normal chewing.

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing.  Gently brush teeth and floss as needed, avoiding the surgical areas. Avoid using electric toothbrushes and waterpiks.

After the first 24 hours gently rinse with a mild salt water solution, 1/4 teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8 ounce glass of water. Repeat as needed. Diluted mouthwash can be used for a soft rinse. Avoid vigorous rinsing and spitting during the first 48 hours.

If Peridex is prescribed, it should be used twice daily, after breakfast and before bed. Be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds.


After an IV anesthetic you should have someone stay with you at home for at least 12 hours. Care should be taken to minimize the risk of falling and injuring yourself, particularly on stairs or in the bathroom. Bed rest during the first 24 hours will minimize pain, swelling and bleeding. Over exertion may initiate or intensify pain. Avoid excessive physical activity at work, school or play.

Wearing your Prosthesis

Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures should not be used immediately after surgery. Your oral surgeon will instruct you on when you may begin wearing them again.