After Placement of Dental Implants

Bleeding Control

  • Bleeding around the implant surgery sight should be limited to a slight ooze after surgery. This may last for several hours and is normal.
  • Place a damp, gauze pack over the implant surgery site and bite gently for 30 minutes to stop bleeding. Rest quietly with your head elevated.
  • Bleeding should be evaluated by looking directly at the surgical site. Pink, blood-tinged saliva may be seen for 2-3 days following surgery.
  • If sutures were placed, they will dissolve and fall out after 3-7 days.

Implant Care  

  • It is imperative to avoid chewing directly on the implant for the duration of your healing time (3 to 4 months).
  • You can use your electric toothbrush on all other teeth except the implant (turn it off and brush gently over the healing cap) for the full healing period (3 to 4 months).
  • If you are wearing a flipper, we recommend removing it during eating to avoid hitting the surgical area.
  • If you have a temporary tooth on the implant, it is essential you do not bite directly into anything and do not use it for chewing.

Orthodontic Retainers / Night Guards/Temporary Teeth/ Flippers/ Essix Retainers

  • Temporary teeth are for esthetics, not for chewing. If you think your appliance puts pressure on the surgical site, discontinue usage and contact our office to discuss an adjustment. If you wear an orthodontic retainer or night guard, you may find it uncomfortable for the first few days following surgery.

Pain Control

  • The numbing agent will last about 2 to 4 hours after surgery.
  • Upon returning home, have a meal of cold liquids/food to ensure you do not take pain medication on an empty stomach.
  • Take 400mg of ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin) every 6-8 hours for mild to moderate pain. Do not exceed 2400 mg of Ibuprofen in 24 hours.
  • Alternate 400 mg of ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin) with 1 tablet of the prescribed narcotic medication every 3 hours for severe pain.
  • If you cannot take Ibuprofen, please discuss alternatives with your doctor.
  • If you had anesthesia for surgery, be aware dizziness and drowsiness can occur the first 24 hours.

Swelling Control

  • Apply ice packs to the face for 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off for the first 24-48 hours
  • After 48 hours, apply moist heat to the face to reduce the swelling more quickly. Swelling will usually reach its peak during the first 48~72 hours. Occasionally, facial bruising will develop and could last 7-10 days.
  • Assume a semi-upright bed position when sleeping using 2 pillows for the first 48 hours. Expect more facial swelling on the side of your face that you sleep on.


  • Have soft cold foods the first day after surgery and when the numbness wears off switch to very soft food high in protein and vitamins for another few days. Increase your fluid intake.
  • Avoid chewing any hard or crunchy foods over the implant site during the healing period.
  • Avoid using straws for 5 days after surgery as this will disrupt the healing process.
  • Narcotic pain medication (hydrocodone) can cause constipation. This can be alleviated with fiber supplements/stool softeners.


  • Take the prescribed antibiotic as directed until they are gone.
  • Irregularity of bowel habits can be caused by antibiotics. If you develop diarrhea stop the antibiotics and call the office.


  • If you experience nausea, stop taking pain medications and food and wait one hour, then slowly restart clear fluids. Advance your diet to more soft foods (nondairy, bland diet) when the nausea resolves and restart the pain medications.
  • If you cannot control your nausea/vomiting, please call our office for additional instructions.

Oral Hygiene

  • Resume brushing your teeth the day after surgery. You may gently brush the areas next to the implant site.
  • You can start gently brushing the implant site (metal healing cap) 5 days after surgery.
  • If you have an electric toothbrush, turn off the motor or use a soft manual toothbrush when brushing the implant site.\
  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt-water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a large glass of water) after each meal and at bedtime. Begin this the day after surgery and continue until you are comfortably able to brush the surgical site (exposed metal healing abutment) with a tooth brush and toothpaste.
  • Avoid aggressive spitting or using alcohol-based mouth washes for one week after the surgery.

Physical Exercise

  • Avoid physical activity the day of surgery and for the next 2 post-operative days. You can begin working out 3 days after surgery, but do not expect to perform optimally until 7 days after surgery.
  • When you are physically active, you may experience an increase in pain or soreness. If this occurs, discontinue that activity.


  • Do not to smoke or vape for at least 24 hours after surgery. It is best to avoid smoking for a week as this will help to insure a rapid and uneventful recovery.

 Allergic Reaction:

If you develop hives or a rash, discontinue all medication and immediately contact our office.

Telephone Support 24/7: 360-671-4859:

Please call our office with any questions. Surgical assistants are available to answer your questions Monday through Friday. For after-hours support, we utilize a third party answering service.  If they do not answer, leave your name and telephone number. The doctor will return your call immediately. If the doctor does not call back in 20 minutes, please call again.