After Placement of Dental Implants

Post Operative Care for Implants

Please read these instructions carefully.

An implant placement is a surgical procedure. Therefore, it is natural that temporary changes will occur in the mouth afterward. You will be functioning normally within a few days. In the meantime, you should follow a few simple guidelines to help promote healing of your implant, prevent complications to your implant, and make yourself more comfortable.

Steady Bleeding

We have placed a gauze pack on the surgical site(s) to limit bleeding while clotting takes place. The gauze packs should be left in place for 30 to 40 minutes after you have left the office. Bite down firmly on the gauze, making sure they remain in place. Continue to change the gauze packs every 30-40 minutes until the gauze is half white/half red or pink. If you become hungry or thirsty, remove the gauze while eating or drinking and replace it when you are finished. To replace gauze, fold a clean piece into a pad thick enough to bite on. Dampen the pad and place it directly on the surgical site. Bleeding should never be severe. If it is, it usually means the gauze is being clenched between the teeth rather than exerting pressure on the surgical areas. Try repositioning fresh packs or a moistened teabag may be substituted for the gauze pad if bleeding persists. If bleeding remains uncontrolled, please call our office.


Often there is some swelling associated with oral surgery and implant placement. You can help minimize this by applying cold compresses or an ice bag to your face or cheek adjacent to the surgical area. This should be applied twenty minutes on and twenty minutes off for the first 24 hours after your surgery.


After an implant placement, a blood clot forms in the surgical area. This is an important part of the normal healing process. You should therefore avoid activities that might disturb the surgical area. Do not rinse your mouth vigorously or probe the area with any objects or your fingers. Do not smoke or drink through a straw for 72 hours following your surgery. These activities create suction in the mouth, which could dislodge the clot and delay healing. If you do not care for the taste in your mouth, drink some fluids or use a wet washcloth and wipe your tongue, but please stay away from the surgical area. Avoid strenuous activity for the first 24 hours after your procedure. This will reduce bleeding and help the blood clot to form.


After your surgery, you will want to eat nourishing food that can be eaten comfortably. Temperature of the food does not matter, but avoid extremely hot foods and liquid. Avoid foods such as nuts, popcorn, rice, sesame seeds, etc. This type of small food may get lodged in the surgical area. Over the next several days you can progress to solid foods at your own pace. If you are diabetic, maintain your normal eating habits as much as possible and follow instructions from our office or your physician regarding your insulin schedule.


Unfortunately most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort. You may be prescribed medication to control discomfort and should take your first pill before the anesthetic has worn off, this will better allow you to manage any discomfort. Although medicine for discomfort may be prescribed, it may not always be needed. You may substitute for over-the-counter Advil, Motrin or whatever you use for a headache. The length of time you experience numbness varies, depending on the type of anesthetic you have received. While your mouth is numb you’ll want to be careful not to bite on your cheek, lip or tongue. The numbness should subside within a few hours.


Nausea is not an uncommon event after surgery, and is sometimes caused by stronger medications for discomfort. Nausea may be reduced by preceding each pill with a small amount of soft food, then taking the pill with a large amount of water. Staying in a reclined position also seems to settle the stomach. You may also have been prescribed a medication for nausea, which should be taken as directed.

Instructions for the Second and Third Days

Mouth Rinses

Keeping your mouth clean after implant placement is essential. The day following your surgery, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water (half a tsp. of salt in an 8oz. glass of warm water). Place the solution in your mouth and gently rotate your head from side to side. Please do not swish. After the second day, you can gradually become more aggressive. Repeat as often as you like, but at least three to four times a day. You may be prescribed a mouth rinse for you, which should be used as directed in addition to the salt-water rinses. Other over-the-counter mouth rinses and mouthwashes should be avoided during this early period.

Oral Hygiene

Begin your normal oral hygiene routine as soon as possible after implant placement. Soreness and swelling may not permit vigorous brushing of all areas, but please make every effort to clean your teeth within the bounds of comfort.

IV Site

When medications are placed in the vein, there may be inflammation at the injection site (phlebitis), which may cause discomfort and temporarily restrict arm and hand motion. Please notify our office if you have any concerns or notice any swelling and/or redness.