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What To Expect: Post Dental Implant Placement Surgery

Information About Dental Implant Surgery Post-Op Care

After your dental implant surgery, you may be wondering about the treatment and care for your new teeth. Read on for post-implant oral care instructions.

What to Do After Surgery
  • The incision wounds from implant surgery usually heal quickly and without complications if simple precautions are taken. Cooperation with your oral surgeon is important. Here are some guidelines and instructions for you to follow to aid in your healing and recovery:
  • Rest at home, keep quiet, and generally take it easy for 24-48 hours following surgery. It may not be necessary to go to bed, however, it is important that you rest.
  • If you had general anesthesia or I.V. sedation, you may experience light-headedness, dizziness, and sleepiness following surgery. It is advisable not to stay alone. A responsible adult should stay with you for 12 hours after surgery.
  • We know that you are eager to see the surgery that has been performed. However, please do not forcefully pull your lips or cheeks away to inspect the surgical site. This action could tear your sutures or delay healing.
  • The mouth may be gently rinsed with a warm salt water solution starting around 2 hours after your surgery. This rinsing should be done frequently, especially after meals and before bedtime for 1 week. You can also drink moderate amounts of liquids such as soda, water, milk juice, etc.
  • PLEASE do not smoke for 24 hours. Smoking may dry out the tissues and delay healing. Smoking can also cause you to bleed more and for longer periods of time.

The surgical area will swell and may become quite large. After the procedure, apply an ice pack to the side of your face where surgery was performed at 15 minute intervals for the remainder of the day. Moist heat, like a warm, wet washcloth, will aid in reducing swelling after the first 24 hours. Swelling usually reaches its maximum within the first 40 hours post-surgery and then slowly decreases.


Bruising sometimes occurs after implant surgery. It is a natural result of the drilling involved to place the implants and you should not be alarmed if it occurs. The bruising often shows up a few days post-surgery and may be located either above or below the area that the implants were placed.


No Straws Please. It is most important that you maintain a nutritious diet during the weeks of healing. The patient who maintains a good diet of soft foods generally feels better, has less discomfort, and heals faster. Since you will be taking medication, it is important that you eat to prevent nausea.

Here Are Some Foods We Recommend
  • Milk or Hot Chocolate Yogurt
  • Oatmeal or Cream of Wheat
  • Ice Cream
  • Soft Boiled or Scrambled Eggs
  • Milkshakes
  • Broiled Fish or Stewed Chicken
  • Applesauce
  • Potatoes, Baked or Mashed
  • Pudding
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Jello
  • Peas, Asparagus, Cooked Carrots (or any soft-cooked vegetables)
  • Soups

If you currently wear a full or partial denture or a single-tooth prosthesis (called a “flipper”), you may wear your appliance immediately after the implant surgery, unless your oral surgeon instructs you otherwise. Your appliance should be left in for the first 24 hours to help contour the gum underneath and minimize swelling. On the day following surgery, your appliance may be removed for cleaning purposes (rinsing and brushing), but should not be left out for a long period of time.
Three days after surgery, your appliance may be left out for a period of time and at night. If your gums are excessively sore or you feel unusual pressure from your appliance, you should not wear it until you have seen your dentist or surgeon and have it modified or relined.

You can expect to be uncomfortable for the first day after surgery. The second day may also be uncomfortable with some more noticeable swelling. On the third day, discomfort generally lessens, with progressive improvement thereafter.

Take your prescribed medications as directed.

We are concerned about your well-being. If you should experience any difficulty in breathing, bleeding that you feel is excessive, persistent nausea or vomiting, any pain that is unusual, please call us at any time. There is always a doctor on call to aid you in answering your questions or in providing you with emergency care.

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