After Placement of Dental Implants

Do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. In most cases, there will be a metal healing abutment (cap) protruding through the gum tissue.

Control of Bleeding

Change gauze every 45-60 minutes until active bleeding stops (usually within 2-3 hours). Slight bleeding is expected, normal, and may last for up to 48 hours. Moisten and roll or fold 2-3 pieces of gauze and place so biting pressure is applied directly over the surgical site. Bite firmly, applying constant biting pressure. Keep your fingers and tongue away from the surgical site(s) if at all possible. There may be a metal healing abutment protruding through your gum tissue.

Assume a semi-upright position (a reclining chair, or in bed with at least 2 pillows). Avoid spitting, drinking through a straw, smoking and chewing tobacco. Avoid excessive physical activity.

If bleeding is excessive the day of your surgery or continues the day after surgery, please call our office.

Control of Swelling

Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice pack, or a plastic bag or towel filled with ice, on the cheek in the area of surgery. Place a barrier between the ice pack and the skin. Apply the ice continuously, as much as possible, for the first 48 hours. After 48 hours, if you still have swelling, place moist warm packs to the outside of the face.


Drink plenty of fluids, especially the first day. Avoid hot liquids or food while you are numb. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.Do not chew directly over the implant area until the final crown restoration is complete. (This may be 2-4 months after your implant(s) have been placed). Avoid sharp foods such as chips, nuts, sunflower seeds, and popcorn that may lodge in the surgical site(s). Avoid smoking and chewing tobacco for 5-7 days following surgery.


Sutures (stitches) may have been used to close the surgical wound. If so, the sutures will usually dissolve within 2 weeks following surgery.

Control of Pain

You should begin taking pain medication– with food – – as soon as you arrive home, so the medications are working before the local anesthetic wears off. If you have been given a prescription, have it filled and begin taking the medication as directed. Be sure to read and follow the instructions on the bottle. Do not take any medication if you are allergic, or have been instructed by your doctor not to. If you develop a rash, hives, or trouble breathing, discontinue all medications and immediately call our office.


Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed until they are gone to help prevent infection.

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. Do not rinse with anything in an effort to cleanse or freshen your mouth for 12 hours following surgery. Depending on your doctor’s instruction, starting the day after surgery, chlorhexidine rinse (Periogard or Peridex) should be used gently twice daily, after breakfast and before bed. Be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds and then spit it out or swab the area using a clockwise motion twice daily. Warm salt water rinses (one-half teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) can be used at least 4-5 times a day as well, especially after meals, for at least one week. Brush your teeth carefully – – be gentle initially with brushing around the surgical areas. Avoid flossing for two weeks following your procedure.


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

Wearing your Prosthesis After Placement of Dental Implants

Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures should not be used immediately after surgery, unless otherwise directed by your surgeon.

Unusual Conditions

If you experience any of the following conditions during the post-operative period, please call the office where your surgery was performed:

  • Continued numbness of the lip, chin, or tongue persisting beyond the day after surgery
  • Prolonged severe pain that is not relieved after several doses of pain medications
  • Fever 101 degrees or higher
  • Significant hard swelling near the surgical site
  • Severe, bright red bleeding that cannot be controlled per the directions above
  • A rash, difficulty breathing, or severe vomiting
  • Any mobility of the implant or healing abutment during the healing period