After Placement of Dental Implants

Home Instructions After Dental Implant Surgery

After dental implant surgery, 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, or you may see a whitish-colored membrane if you have had grafting. Do not disturb the membrane.


Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding (your mouth fills rapidly with blood) can be controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues profusely, 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 continuously, as much as possible, for the first 24-36 hours.


Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.


In most instances, you will either be prescribed ketorolac (Toradol) or told to take ibuprofen beginning in the first 6 hours after your surgery. This is often all that is necessary for postoperative pain control. Ibuprofen bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 2-4 tablets may be taken four times daily, not to exceed 3200mg daily for an adult. Consult our practice for individuals under 18. For moderate pain, one or two tablets of Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may also be taken every 6 hours, not to exceed 4000mg daily.

For severe pain not relieved by the above medications, you may be prescribed a small amount of an opioid analgesic. You may take this in addition to the ketorolac (Toradol) or ibuprofen, but do not add it to Tylenol, as most opioid analgesics already contain acetaminophen (Tylenol), and too much can damage your liver. Due to the current opioid epidemic, we strive to limit the amount of these medications we prescribe.

Any prescribed medication should be taken as directed. Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic to them, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery while taking opioid analgesics. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call the office.


Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection and decrease the risk of dry socket.

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. Starting the day after surgery, warm salt water rinses (one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) should be used at least 4-5 times a day as well, especially after meals. Brush your teeth and the healing abutments. Be gentle initially while brushing the surgical areas. If you have been prescribed Peridex, please use it as directed.


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

Wearing your Prosthesis

Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures, should not be used immediately after surgery unless previously discussed in the pre-operative consultation.