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 will be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue.


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 or green tea bag 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 36 hours. Peak swelling occurs 3 days after surgery.


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.


You should begin taking pain medication prior to the local anesthetic wearing off.

  • NSAIDs:
    • NSAIDs (Ibuprofen, Aleve, Motrin, Aspirin, Naproxen, Advil, Lodine, Etodolac, etc) are additive. We recommend using only one type of these medications such as Lodine (Etodolac) OR  Ibuprofen (Motrin).
      • Ibuprofen:
        • Over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets. Taking three or four 200 mg over-the-counter tablets has equivalent pain and inflammation control as a prescription 600 mg or 800 mg tablets.
        • Do not exceed 3200 mg daily for an adult
        • Take two tablets (400 mg) every 4 hours OR three tablets (600 mg) every 6 hours OR four tablets (800 mg) every 8 hours. 
      • Lodine
        • Typically prescribed at 400 mg
        • Take 1 tab every 8 hours
    • Ask you doctor prior to taking these medications if you are on a blood thinner other than 81 mg Aspirin.
  • Tylenol (acetaminophen)
    • This is a different medication class than NSAIDs. It is completely safe and much more effective to take in addition to NSAIDs.
    • Comes in strengths of 325 mg, 500 mg, or 650 mg.
    • Max dose of 3000 mg daily for an adult. Be aware than many other medications such as Dayquil, decongestants, antihistamines, and some narcotics also have Tylenol (acetaminophen) added to them.
    • You may take three 325 mg tablets (975 mg) every eight hours OR two 500 mg tablets (1000 mg) every 8 hours OR one 650 mg tablet every 6 hours.
    • Discuss with your physician prior to taking Tylenol if you have a history of hepatitis, cirrhosis, alcohol abuse, or other liver disease

It is safe and advisable to take both Tylenol and NSAIDs. Maximum pain relief and fewer side effects occur when the medications are staggered. For pediatric patients, please refer to the weight-based dosing insert with the medication and discuss with your doctor.

For procedures that  cause more severe pain, a narcotic may be prescribed. This narcotic should be taken in addition to an NSAID (such as Ibuprofen or Lodine) and Tylenol (acetaminophen). If you are taking a narcotic, do not drive an automobile, work around machinery, or drink 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. Antibiotics are prescribed in certain medically compromised patients and cases of bone grafting, active purulent drainage, and facial swelling. Post-operative antibiotics are not prescribed or indicated after routine tooth extraction or when the infection was localized around the tooth. 

An antimicrobial mouth rinse (Peridex/Chlorhexidine) is frequently prescribed in the above situations as well as procedures requiring incisions and bone removal.

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. An antimicrobial mouthwash (Peridex/Chlorhexidine) may be prescribed. If it was prescribed, begin use the day following surgery after breakfast and before bed. Be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds then spit it out. Warm salt water rinses (one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) may be used 4-5 times a day if desired for patient comfort; however, salt water rinses do not lower your infection rate or speed up healing. Brush your teeth and the healing abutments. Be gentle initially while brushing the surgical areas.


Keep physical activities to a minimum for the first 3-5 days 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

As a general rule, do not wear a removable prosthesis over a bone grafted site or implant until you have followed-up with your surgeon 10-14 days after your surgery. Your surgeon or general dentist will likely need to adjust your removable prosthesis to fit the new site. Removable partial dentures or complete dentures may be worn over sites where the tooth was extracted and left open. Your surgeon will review your case at the initial consultation appointment and will coordinate the prosthesis as needed with your general dentist.