After Placement of Dental Implants

Do not disturb the implant site.  Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the area on the day of surgery. 

For the first week following implant placement or bone grafting, do not brush or eat in the area of the surgery site.  Avoid touching the area with your tongue.  Do not smoke.


KEEP CONTINUOUS BITING PRESSURE ON THE GAUZE PACK PLACED OVER THE SURGICAL SITE FOR AT LEAST ONE HOUR.  If bleeding continues after removing the pack, place a fresh gauze pack over the bleeding area and hold with clenching pressure for an additional hour.  REPEAT AS NECESSARY.  It often takes several hours of firm, continuous pressure to stop mouth bleeding.  DO NOT rinse, spit, or use a straw for 24 hours to prevent re-bleeding.  DO NOT go to sleep until bleeding has stopped.

Slight oozing, producing pink or red saliva, is normal during the first 24 hours.  However, if active bleeding recurs, it can be controlled by repeating biting pressure on the area.  A tea bag may also be used, as the tannic acid in the tea promotes clotting.  Applying ice packs and elevating your head will also help.


Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery and will reach a maximum in about 3 days.  To minimize swelling, use ice packs (20 minutes on, 20 minutes off ) as much as possible during this time.  Swelling will start to resolve after 3 days.


Drink plenty of fluids.  Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Begin eating normally when chewing is comfortable.  Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.  Rinse thoroughly every time after eating.

Pain Medications and Antibiotics

Discomfort is usually greatest during the first 24-28 hours.  For mild discomfort, Tylenol or ibuprofen products should suffice.

For more severe discomfort, use the medication prescribed to you.  Use the anti-inflammatory pain medication ibuprofen/motrin around the clock and supplement as needed with the stronger pain medications prescribed to you.      

Pain medication and antibiotics can upset an empty stomach.  You can prevent this by eating something before taking any medications.  

If you were prescribed antibiotics, take as directed until finished to help prevent infection.

If you experience stomach upset, rash or itching, please call the office as we may need to change your medications.

Do NOT mix alcohol with any medications.

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing.  Rinsing your mouth is important to keep the surgery area clean and your mouth more comfortable, and should start THE DAY AFTER your surgery.  Warm salt water rinses (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) should be used at least 8-10 times a day for 2 weeks, especially after meals.  If you were given a prescribed mouth wash, it should be used twice daily, after breakfast and before bed.  Be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds then spit it out.  

You may brush your teeth where comfortable,  starting the day after surgery.  Do not brush or run your tongue over the surgery area.

DO NOT SMOKE for at least 1 week following surgery.  Nicotine and tobacco products delay healing and may cause infection.  For that reason we recommend no smoking for 3 months after the implant is placed.


Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery.  Adjust your activities to your level of comfort.  Use common sense and don’t push yourself.  Do not drive while taking pain medications, and avoid strenuous exercise such as aerobics, jogging and weight lifting for 1 week.

Wearing your Prosthesis

Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures should not be used immediately after surgery, unless instructed otherwise.  After the first week, Dr. Rayner will check you, and if you have healed adequately, you can wear the denture.

BE CAREFUL.  If the denture presses too hard, or sores or ulcers develop, or if the incision opens up exposing the implant, the implant could get damaged.  See Dr. Rayner or your regular dentist immediately so the denture can be adjusted or relined.