Post Operative Instructions- Implants

Post-Operative Instructions for Dental Implant Surgery

We would like to thank you for choosing us to perform your surgical procedure. We have provided some basic post-operative instructions to make your recovery as comfortable as possible. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office and a member of our surgical team will return your call in a timely fashion.

Will I have pain?

Some degree of discomfort and pain arises as the numbness subsides. We recommend that you start taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory once you arrive home. Advil/Motrin/ Aleve are such medications and should be taken as directed on the bottle (800mg every 8 hours). Do not exceed 2400mg in a 24 hour period of time. Also, if you have received a prescription for Diflunisal, no not take any form of ibuprofen while you are taking this medication. If the pain is not relieved, then you may take the prescribed pain medication as directed. All pain medications have the ability to cause severe nausea and vomiting, so try to have some food in your stomach before you take them.

Do not wait for the pain to become unbearable before using some form of pain medication, as then it will be more difficult to control. Moderate to severe pain usually does not last longer than 24-72 hours, sometimes peaking on the 3rd postoperative day. Relief should begin on the 4th post-operative day.

How long will I bleed?

Expect minor bleeding or OOZING from the operative site. This bleeding may continue throughout the first day. Keep firm pressure on the surgical site by biting on a gauze sponge for 30 minutes at a time until bleeding subsides. Once the oozing has slowed down, try to avoid placing gauze or any other irritant near the surgical site as this will only lead to further bleeding and discomfort. Biting on a moist tea bag wrapped in gauze may help control persistent oozing.

If active bleeding should recur at any time, carefully rinse your mouth with cold water and apply a fresh gauze sponge to the bleeding site. Firm pressure for 15-20 minutes usually controls the problem. Should active bleeding persist, please call the office and a member of our surgical team will return your call promptly.  

Surgical Site:

The first stages of healing are aided by allowing tissues to rest. Avoid vigorous chewing, excessive spitting, or rinsing for the first 24 hours as initial healing may be delayed, active bleeding restarted, or infection introduced. Try to avoid smoking completely, as it tends to slow the healing process and may also contribute to infection and prolonged discomfort.

Do not worry about the stitches if they start to come out. The sutures usually dissolve in 5-7 days and typically do not require removal by a doctor.


Swelling usually develops during the first 24-48 hours following surgery, often peaking on the 3rd post-operative day. Swelling can be minimized by placing an ice pack on the affected side at 30 minute intervals during the first 48 hours after surgery.

Any swelling, soreness, or stiffness in the jaw muscles can be relieved by applying a warm, moist towel to the affected side of the face several times a day. Moist heat should be used after the first 48 hours.


Limit activity during the first 24-48 hours after surgery. Excessive exertion may lead to postoperative bleeding and discomfort. When you lie down, keep your head elevated at least 45 degrees on a pillow.

Do not drive an automobile for 24 hours following surgery if you have had general anesthesia or if you are taking a prescription pain medication.


FLUID INTAKE IS VERY IMPORTANT. You can advance to soft foods and other fluids as tolerated. Please avoid hot liquids until the numbness has worn off, and the bleeding has stopped.

Sock-It Gel: You have been given a pre-filled syringe of a wound dressing called Sock-it gel. It is suggested that you start using this the day of your procedure and as often as you would like during the course of your recovery. This gel can be applied directly to your extraction site, using caution to not irritate the site. If you have any further questions about this gel, reference the enclosed postcard.

Post-Surgical Suggestions: Once you get home, prop yourself up on the couch or bed with your head elevated (with at least 2 pillows), or lay back in a recliner. Be sure to eat something soft before the numbness wears off. We also recommend that you begin taking 800mg of ibuprofen every 8 hours around the clock, for the first 5 days after surgery. HOWEVER, If you have been given a Diflunisal prescription, it is very important that you do not take ibuprofen while taking this medication.

Food selection is a matter of your choice. Soft, cool foods that require little or no chewing are most easily tolerated.

Oral Hygiene

Brush your teeth as normal following your procedure, but be careful around your surgical site. Do not swish or spit to rinse your mouth, but instead rock your head from side to side and let the water fall out of your mouth.

Your Medications

Take and regularly scheduled medication on your regular schedule unless advised to do otherwise. Patients taking blood thinners (ie. Coumadin) should restart those medications after surgery unless there is any sign of continued bleeding.