What should I do after receiving a dental implant?

Congratulations on receiving your dental implant! Here are some basic instructions on what to look out for in the next coming days. Keep in mind, these instructions are for after you’ve received the implant fixture (screw). For instructions on what to do after receiving your implant crowns, please refer to our crown post-op section instead.

BE CAREFUL: Do not disturb your wound by biting or playing with it. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching your wound on the day of surgery. Occasionally, there will be a small metal healing cap level with or just above the gingival (gum) tissue. Avoid playing with this as it can lead to implant failure!

BLEEDING: Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal during the first 24 hours. Excessive bleeding (your mouth fills up rapidly with blood) can be controlled by biting firmly on a gauze pad. Place the gauze pad directly on your bleeding wound and apply pressure for 20 to 30 minutes. Continue switching gauze for an hour as instructed. A nice little trick that helps too is placing a wet tea bag on the implant site. This usually gets the bleeding under control in less than an hour. However, should the bleeding continue and shows no sign of slowing down you need to call us or go to the nearest emergency room

SWELLING: Keep in mind that swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, try applying an ice pack or towel filled with ice onto your cheeks. Continuously, apply the ice pack on-and-off every 20 minutes. If needed, continue this routine for the first day until you go to bed.

MONITOR YOUR DIET: You should drink plenty of fluids. However, it’s best to avoid hot liquids or food. Stick with soft food and liquids on the day of your surgery. You can return to a normal diet, with the exception of hard crunchy food, within 2 to 3 days, unless otherwise directed.

PAIN: You should begin taking pain medication before you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For mild-moderate pain, try taking 400 to 800 mg of Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or 1 to 2 Tylenol. For severe pain, we typically prescribe strong medication which should be taken as directed. Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic, or have been instructed by your physician not to take it.

ANTIBIOTICS: Be sure to take your prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection.

ORAL HYGIENE: Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. Use warm salt water rinse (teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) at least 4 to 5 times a day, especially after meals. You can start brushing your teeth the day after surgery, however be gentle in the area of the surgery. Avoid using an electric toothbrush on your dental implant for the first few weeks, as this could cause implant failure.

ACTIVITY: Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery since exercise may cause throbbing, swelling or bleeding. We recommend that you
avoid strenuous exercises until your dentist has instructed you to. Typically, for the first one to two weeks you should avoid strenuous exercises. Jogging, yoga and light workout is acceptable after 1 to 2 days.

We hope you find this information helpful and wish you a speedy recovery. If you have any other questions, call us at (949) 481-2540 or come in for a check-up today.