After Placement of Dental Implants

The after-effects of oral surgery vary per individual so not all of these instructions may apply. If you have any questions about your progress or any symptoms you are experiencing, please call our office at Huntersville Office Phone Number 704-875-8833.

Patients who received IV Sedation/General Anesthesia should return home from the office immediately upon discharge until all of the effects of the anesthetics have disappeared. (24 Hours)


While recovering from anesthesia and/or taking prescription pain medication DO NOT……..

  • Drive or operate any appliances or equipment that could be dangerous ex: car, power tools, stove, and lawnmower etc.
  • Swim, go near a pool or lake.
  • Make any important or legal decisions.
  • Drink any alcoholic beverages. The drugs in your body may cause an adverse reaction to alcohol.
  • Use stairs without assistance.
  • Take with other prescription pain medication.
  • Take with or while taking Sleep Aid medication


  1. Gauze
  • Take gauze out.  If there is still bleeding, replace with new gauze.
  • If there is bleeding after second gauze, place dampened tea bags—any kind will work—on both sides, bite down for an hour.
  • Keep in mind that blood-tinged saliva may be present for 24 hours after surgery. Keep your head elevated above chest level for the first 2 days and nights after surgery.
  1. As soon as bleeding stops…
  • Eat something—this is important as the medication is hard on the stomach.
  • Take pain medication.  If you were prescribed an antibiotic, you SHOULD NOT take it at the same time.
  1. Ice
  • Wrap ice in towel or head wrap—if given one at the office—and apply on sides of face for 20 minutes, leave off for 20 minutes.  Repeat during the first 24 HOURS ONLY.
  1. Rinsing
  • Start after the first 24 HOURS.
  • Rinse with salt water first.  Use ½ a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water.  It may be easier to buy a gallon of distilled water and mix salt water all at once.  Do this 6 times a day, once after every meal and once in between.
  • If you were given a prescription for a special rinse, start using it 24 hours after surgery, twice a day, once in the morning and once at night.
  1. Diet
  • Follow soft foods diet for 5 to 7 days.
  • Scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, yogurt, oatmeal, etc.—anything you don’t have to chew.
  • Avoid foods that may become lodged in sockets like nuts and popcorn.
  • Remember DO NOT drink with a straw for 1 week after your surgery.
  • Remember that you cannot chew on the implant area for the entire healing phase—this may be as long as 6 months—or until you have been instructed to do so.  
  • Also, if you have a denture/flipper or prosthetic device do not use it to chew until you have been instructed to do so.
  1. Peak Pain and Swelling
  • Usually occurs 2 or 3 days after the surgical day, not counting the surgery day itself. For example, if your surgery was on Friday, the worst day will most likely be Sunday.
  • Pain and swelling will not be gone on the 4th day, but it should be getting better. If it feels like pain and swelling are increasing after the 4th day, please call our office.
  1. Sutures
  • Some sutures are dissolvable; others need to be removed during your follow up visit.


  • Contact our office if…
  • You have a fever of 100° or if pain and/or swelling increases after 48 hours.
  • There is a rash, itching, or hives stop all medications and call.
  • Contact 911 if…
  • There is swelling of the throat or difficulty breathing.
  • In the event of an emergency.
  • Remember…
  • DO NOT smoke for at least 7 days after surgery as it is detrimental to the healing process. Two weeks of no smoking would be best for your recovery. Quitting smoking altogether would be best as it has been proven to cause implants to fail at a greater rate when compared to non-smokers.
  • DO NOT use a Waterpik or other unauthorized devices on surgical sites.
  • For patients prescribed an antibiotic…
  • Take the prescription EXACTLY as directed and until ALL antibiotics are gone
  • Do not take antibiotics at the same time as the pain medication. Taking them separately allows us to trace any reaction that might occur to the offending medication.
  • If you are currently taking oral contraceptives, you should use an alternative method of birth control for the remainder of this cycle.
  • If you develop diarrhea that lasts more than a day stop the medication and call the office.


  1. When can I start brushing my teeth?
  • You may brush the day after surgery, taking care to avoid the implant sites. Do not brush the part of the implant that is protruding through the gums.
  1. When should I use the rinses?
  • Use the salt water rinse 6 times a day: once after each meal and once in between. You should continue this daily for three weeks after your surgery. If you were prescribed a ‘special rinse’, use it in accordance with your prescription.
  1. How soon can I engage in strenuous activity?
  • We recommend avoiding strenuous activities such as exercise for 5 to 7 days after surgery.
  1. How long will I be numb?
  • Loss of sensation to the chin and lip is common and usually disappears after a few days or weeks. IF YOUR NUMBNESS DOES NOT WEAR OFF WITHIN 24 HOURS AFTER SURGERY, PLEASE CONTACT OUR OFFICE.