Dental Implants: Instructions Following Oral Surgery

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.

Please call our office first with any questions or concerns at 403-271-1665 or 1-800-342-0382. A doctor is on-call 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. If you are calling after hours, please listen to the emergency message at the phone number(s) provided.  You can then leave a message at the designated phone number and the Doctor will call you back. If you are admitted to the hospital within 10 days of surgery, please notify us immediately.

If you are having a life-threatening medical emergency, do not delay – dial 911.