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Post-Operative Instructions: Dental Implants


After Placement of Dental Implants

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 up rapidly with blood) can be controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues, please call for further instructions.


Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice pack on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off, as much as possible, for the first 36 hours.


Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food until you are no longer 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.


You should begin taking pain medication before the local anesthetic wears off. Ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) 600 mg (3 regular strength over-the-counter tabs), take every 6 hours around the clock for the first 3 days, then every 6 hours as needed after that. Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) 975 mg (3 regular strength over-the-counter tabs), take every 8 hours around the clock for 3 days, then every 8 hours as needed after that. Note: You may take ibuprofen and acetaminophen together at the same time, or you may alternate them so that you are taking medication every 3 -4 hours.

You may be prescribed a narcotic pain medication. If you are prescribed a narcotic, you may take this with the ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Narcotic pain medications can make you nauseous and drowsy. Therefore, do not drink alcohol, drive a car, or operate machinery while taking narcotic pain medication.

Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it.


You may be prescribed antibiotics before and/or after your surgery. Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection. You should finish the entire prescription unless otherwise directed

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. The night of surgery, use the prescribed Peridex oral rinse before bed. The day after surgery, the Peridex should be used twice daily, after breakfast and before bed. Be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds then spit it out. Warm salt water rinses (teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) should be used at least 4–5 times a day, as well, especially after meals. Brushing your teeth and the healing abutments is no problem. Be gentle initially with brushing the surgical areas.


Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you are considering exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. 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

You should wear or not wear your prosthesis as directed by your surgeon.

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