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After Placement of Dental Implants

After surgery, there will be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gum tissue. Do not disturb it or the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching it on the day of surgery.

Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for a few days. Excessive bleeding, when the mouth fills up rapidly with blood, can be controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes at a time. If bleeding continues, please call the office for further instructions.


Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery, especially during the first 24 hours. To minimize swelling, apply ice packs as soon after surgery as you can. After 24 hours, ice has no beneficial effect.

Place the ice pack on the cheek in the area of surgery for 20 minutes, then remove it for 20 minutes. Continue this 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off interval as much as possible for the first 24 hours. Be careful not to nap with the ice left in place.

If you do not have an ice pack, use a zip-lock bag covered with a towel, a towel filled with ice, or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel.


On the day of surgery, drink plenty of fluids and eat soft food. Do not use straws because the sucking motion can cause more bleeding by dislodging the blood clot. Until the local anesthesia has worn off, avoid hot liquids or food. Return to a normal diet the next day unless otherwise directed.


Begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate pain, an over-the-counter pain reliever like Tylenol or Advil may be enough. For severe pain, take the prescribed medication as directed. The medication can make you groggy and will slow down your reflexes. Do not drive an automobile or work around machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside over time. If pain persists, call the office.

Do not take any of these medications if you are allergic or have been instructed by your doctor not to.


Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent or manage infection.

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. If you received a prescription for Peridex, be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds, then spit it out.

Warm saltwater rinses (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) should be used at least 4-5 times a day and after meals.

When brushing your teeth, be gentle around the surgical areas. The healing abutments may be gently brushed.


Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you are considering exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If it does, stop exercising. Also keep in mind that you may not be consuming normal nourishment, and this can weaken you and further limit your ability to exercise.

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