Dental Implant Surgery

Do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. There may be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue.


Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. During this time avoid spitting or rinsing your mouth. Avoid using straw or smoking as they also increase chances for bleeding. Biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes can control excessive bleeding. If bleeding continues please call for further instructions.


Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag, or a plastic bag, or towel filled with ice on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously, as much as possible, for the first 36 hours.


Avoid chewing or eating hard food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.


You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate pain, 1 or 2 Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every 3-4 hours. Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may be taken instead of Tylenol. Ibuprofen, bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 2-3 tablets may be taken every 3-4 hours as needed for pain. For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed. Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic, or have been instructed by your primary doctor not to take it. The presence of pain after a few weeks post surgery  may indicate problems such as infection. Please call us for evaluation.


Although rare, numbness in the lips, cheek, gums, teeth and even tongue is one of the potential complications of placing dental implants as described prior to placement of dental implant (s), particularly in the lower jaw. In many cases this is a temporary feeling but it could also last for years or even be a permanent numbness. Please let us know if you have developed numbness so that we can follow your progress.


Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection. If you notice redness, pus, pain or other signs of infection please return promptly for evaluation.

After the visit for placing the healing abutment allow sufficient time for your gum to heal (usually in 10-14 days), the metal healing abutment or crown should be brushed with a soft bristle tooth brush and tooth paste gently but thoroughly two to three times a day just like a tooth. Until that time it must be kept clean with the Peridex rinse.

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 water rinses should be used at least 4-5 times a day, as well, especially after meals. Gently brush your teeth the healing abutment, and the surgical area.  


There have been some studies that have shown smokers have a higher chance of implant failure. The exact mechanism is not known, but avoid smoking all together for a successful result. At the very least, avoid smoking for the first two weeks after surgery. Very simply said, continuing to smoke after implant placement could cause your implant to fail.

Excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages can also interfere with implant healing. Please avoid drinking alcoholic beverages for the first week after surgery.


Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you choose to exercise, be advised that throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercise. Keep in mind that you are probably not consuming your normal nourishment. This may cause you to fatigue and further limit your ability to exercise.

Wearing Your Prosthesis

We realize how important it is for you to be able to wear your temporary teeth as soon as possible after surgery. Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures should not be used immediately after surgery and for at least 10 days. Remember that all removable appliances including partial dentures, flippers and full dentures must be checked for proper fit by your dentist before they are worn.These appliances can put considerable pressure to the implant site, which can interfere with implant healing and result in implant failure.

In some cases it may be necessary to go without wearing the temporary teeth for a few days until swelling resolves and some healing takes place. In most cases, partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures should be used only for cosmetic purposes, not for chewing. They should be worn only in public when required and removed in the privacy of your own home.

Please review our standard post-op instructions for additional helpful information.

After you are under care of your general dentist

As an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, we do not place the crowns above your dental implants. Your general dentist removes the healing abutment we place over your implants. Next he or she will start taking impressions to construct the final crown. The expertise of your general dentist is now crucial in successful results. Excessive pressure on the implant, poorly constructed crowns or ill fitting crowns are going to cause pain, infection and eventually failure of implants.

This stage of your implant process is not under our control. Please make sure to discuss any issues or concerns you have immediately with your general dentist. We can evaluate the final result and advise you on any issues you may have.

Can my implants fail?

Yes they can! There are many reasons they can fail, although this is very rare but like your own natural teeth, they also can get rejected or infected if not properly cared for. There are cases that implants get loose from patients grinding them excessively. Implants that are improperly manipulated by other practitioners during various phases of treatments could put your implant at risk of failure. As stated above smoking, or developing various illnesses can lead to implant failure.