Dental Implant Post-Operative Instructions

After Surgery

  • Some bleeding is normal and to be expected. Gauze is provided and needs to be used until bleeding stops or looks light pink. If bleeding persists, place a moist tea bag directly over the surgical site with a piece of gauze on top of it and bite down with a firm pressure. The tannic acid in the tea bag helps with clotting. It is not uncommon for some areas to bleed for 48 hours and longer after surgery.
  • Swallowing blood or taking your pain medication on an empty stomach may cause nausea. If nausea or vomiting persists, please call the office immediately.
  • Keep an ice pack on your face near the surgery site, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off, for the first 48 hours after surgery. After 48 hours, using moist heat or a heating pad will aid your recovery.
  • Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. After the first 24hrs, rinse gently with warm salt water (1 teaspoon of salt in cup of warm water) at least 4-5 times a day, especially after meals. Brushing your teeth and the healing abutments are no problem. Be gentle initially while brushing the surgical areas. DO NOT RINSE WITH PEROXIDE, until ok’d by the doctor.
  • Eat soft bland foods such as pasta, soups, custards, etc. for a few days following surgery. Avoid chewing over surgical areas, until after you have been ok’d by the surgeon at your scheduled follow up appointment.

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For 7-14 Days

  • DO NOT exercise or participate in any strenuous activity for at least 7 days (1 week) after your surgical procedure.
  • DO NOT smoke or drink alcohol for 7 days (1 week). Smoking and drinking alcohol can significantly slow healing and may compromise the success of the implant.
  • The site where the IV was placed may become tender, bruised, or uncomfortable. If this occurs apply moist heat over the area. Notify the office if it persists longer than 3 days.
  • Normally for dental implant surgery sutures are not used. If permanent sutures are used they will be removed painlessly 7-14 days after surgery. If resorbable sutures are used they will dissolve between 7-14 days.
  • Bruising and jaw stiffness are common and may last up to 10 days with gradual improvement.
  • Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures should not be used immediately after surgery and for at least 10 days, unless instructed by your surgeon. This was discussed in the pre-operative consultation.


  • You should begin taking pain medication as directed after arriving home and eating. For moderate pain, 1 or 2 Tylenol or 1 Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every 6 hours.
  • If you cannot take Tylenol- Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may be taken instead. Ibuprofen over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets- 2 to 3 tablets may be taken every 6 hours as needed for pain.
  • For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed. If prescription pain medication is needed, these can ONLY be prescribed during normal office hours, NOT after hours or on the weekend.
  • If antibiotics were prescribed, be sure to take as directed to help prevent infection. The entire course of antibiotic should be completed unless instructed otherwise by the surgeon.
  • If Peridex was prescribed, start this oral rinse before going to bed the night of surgery. The Peridex should then be used twice daily (beginning the day after surgery for 1 week) as follows: after breakfast and before bed. Be sure to rinse for at least 2 minutes.
  • Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it.


  • When the office is closed, the answering service will prompt you on how to get a hold of the surgeon on call. This should be used on an emergency basis ONLY. Leave a message and your call will be returned as soon as possible.