Dental Implants: Instructions Following Oral Surgery

Please follow the guidelines below. Call your doctor if you notice any unusual symptoms. You are under the influence of medication following surgery; therefore, do not drive, drink alcoholic beverages, sign legal documents or make any major decisions during the next 24 hours. If you have any questions or concerns, call our office at 403-271-1665. There is always a doctor on call when the office is closed.

Swelling and Bleeding

  • Swelling is expected to peak at 48 hours and will likely be present for at least 2-3 weeks following surgery.
  • Sit upright, apply ice and gauze pressure as tolerated. Bleeding can persist on and off for 2-4 days.
  • Sleep with your head elevated on 2-3 pillows for at least one week.


  • Use ice 20 minutes ON and 20 minutes OFF for the first 48 hours after surgery. Ice can also be used for up to 4-5 days following surgery to help with discomfort. After 4-5 days, switch to moist heat.
  • Take all pain medications as prescribed for at least 48 hours. Alternate the anti-inflammatory (eg. ibuprofen, naproxen) with the Tylenol-based medication (eg. Tylenol 3, Tramacet) every 3 hours (ie. start with ibuprofen—> 3 hours later—>Tylenol product—> 3 hours later—> ibuprofen—> etc.).


  • Nausea may occur for the first few days after surgery. Drinking clear fluids (eg. water or ginger-ale) can help ease nausea. Taking medications with food will also help.
  • If nausea persists, avoid narcotic medications. Try using ibuprofen and plain Tylenol for management of any discomfort.
  • Stay on a soft chew diet for at least 3 weeks following surgery. Your surgeon will direct any diet changes/recommendations moving forward. Do not use a straw for one month following surgery.
  • Diet: ☐ Soft chew ☐ blended ☐ liquid for _______ weeks.

Oral Hygiene

  • You will have had antibiotics prescribed. Please take them to completion.
  • Use the prescribed mouth rinse 3-4 times daily (after eating and before bedtime). Rinse for 1 minute then spit; do not swallow. Rinse several times a day with salt water as well.
  • The day after surgery, you can begin brushing your teeth – teeth next to any surgical area(s) should be brushed gently). If dental implants have been placed and a portion of your implant structure is visible (ie. the healing abutment), you may start brushing the abutments 1 week after surgery. Use only a manual toothbrush to this area. You may use your electric toothbrush to your other teeth. No flossing adjacent to the implants for 2 weeks.
  • Dissolving stitches are commonly used. These may dissolve in 10-14 days OR may last up to 4-6 weeks depending on the type of suture used.
  • If you have any non-dissolving sutures, you will receive an appointment for removal.
  • Please contact us immediately if you notice that tissues have “opened up” to the graft site and/or implant site.

Restrictions and Activity

  • Early mobilization and walking assist with recovery. Sit upright in a chair to help with swelling and breathing.
  • Do not lift more than 5-10 pounds for at least 6 weeks as directed.
  • Avoid all contact sports or activities that put you at risk for getting hit in the face for at least 2-3 months.
  • Do not smoke cigarettes, e-cigarettes or marijuana as this affects healing.
  • If you have had a Sinus Lift Bone Graft performed, please avoid blowing your nose for at least one month following surgery.