After Placement of Dental Implants

Printable Instructions

Instrucciones de cuidado en el hogar para la cirugía de implantes 

Dental implants are titanium screws designed to replace missing teeth. Please follow these instructions after surgery to help promote healing, prevent complications and make yourself comfortable. You should be feeling better in about 2-5 days.

Important Information

  • Don’t smoke after implant surgery. It slows healing and can lead to failure
  • Don’t chew on the implant for 4 months. Just eat on the other side
  • Starting the day of surgery until your follow up appointment (about 2 weeks)
    • No tooth brushing over the implant area
    • Rinse or swab the implant with 0.12% Chlorhexidine gluconate rinse 2-3 times a day
    • Rinse with salt water 6 times a day
    • Don’t use a Waterpik or another oral irrigator
  • After the first month of healing
    • Begin brushing your implant to keep it clean.
    • It’s okay to other mouth rinses like Listerine and stop the salt water
    • Floss the implant abutment, if possible, to help keep it clean
    • It’s okay to use a Waterpik


A gauze pack was placed on the surgical site(s) to limit bleeding and help a blood clot form. Gauze is only needed if there is active bleeding, which typically lasts about 2-3 hours. Change the gauze every 30 minutes by folding it into a square, moistening with clean water, placing it over the site and biting down with firm pressure. Keep doing this until active bleeding stops; about 2-3 hours. Don’t chew on the pack. The gauze will always have some blood on it, but is no longer needed if active bleeding has stopped.  If heavy bleeding continues after 4-5 hours, please call the office for assistance.


If you were given prescription medications, start taking them the day of your procedure, unless otherwise instructed. Use ibuprofen or another NSAID as your primary pain controller for the first 3 days every six hours. This will help with pain and swelling. Don’t take it if you are allergic or your primary care doctor says otherwise. Narcotic pain medications are optional and only needed for severe pain. It is okay to take NSAID’s and narcotics at the same time. If you were prescribed antibiotics, start them right away and finish all of them to prevent infection and promote healing. When taking antibiotics, please use probiotics to avoid stomach and intestine problems.


The length of time you experience numbness varies, depending on the type of local anesthetic you received. While your mouth is numb, be careful not to bite your cheek, lip or tongue. The numbness should wear off in about 24 hours. If you’ve had IV sedation, walk with some assistance for the first 12 -18 hours to avoid falls and no driving for 24 hours.


Swelling is expected after surgery and peaks in about 3 days, then slowly resolves for 7-10 days. Sometimes it’s hard to open your mouth fully during this time. This is all normal and should get better. To help reduce swelling and pain, apply an ice pack immediately after surgery to your face/jaw —30 minutes on and 30 minutes off—for 24-48 hours. When using an ice pack, cover it with a cloth to avoid skin irritation. Also sleep with your head elevated about 30 degrees (2-3 pillows) for the first two nights after surgery. After 72 hours, ice isn’t helpful anymore.

Oral Hygiene/Wound Care

Starting the night of surgery, rinse your mouth with warm salt water six times a day, especially after meals. Do this for 7 days or longer.  To make, mix 8oz. of warm water with ½ teaspoon of salt or use a disposable water bottle and add the salt to it. Brushing and flossing is okay, but avoid the surgical areas. Refrain from smoking as this will delay healing and lead to complications. The sutures are dissolvable and will come out on their own about 2-6 days after surgery. Take is easy after surgery and avoid exercise and strenuous activities for about 3 days.


After surgery, begin drinking clear liquids first, to make sure your stomach is settled, then progress to softer foods as tolerated. It usually takes about 4-5 days to return to a normal diet, but really varies depending on surgery. Avoid hot liquids until the numbness wears off, chewing over your surgical site and straws for the first 72 hours. Also avoid alcoholic beverages for the first 3 days. If you are troubled by nausea and vomiting, call our office for advice.

Food suggestions:


Soups – cooled
Cottage Cheese
Yogurt or Ice Cream
Potato – mashed or baked
Macaroni and Cheese

Drinks (No Straws!)

Fruit Juice: apple or grape
Milk shakes
Iced tea
Protein Drinks


If any of the following occur, please call the office:

  • Uncontrolled pain or if pain persists after 3 days which isn’t getting better
  • Severe bleeding
  • Fever over 101.5 F
  • New swelling and pain that starts after 4 days
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting

Questions or Concerns

We can be reached 24 hours a day and seven days a week at Oral Surgery Office in Salem office Phone Number 503-581-0223

Dental Implants Can Improve Your Life

Don't suffer the consequences of missing teeth! Dental implants can replace missing teeth and restore your smile. Contact us to learn more.

Call us: 503-581-0223