After Placement of Dental Implants

Please review this information prior to your surgery. Following these instructions will assist in your recovery. 


If you have been treated by our office and have encountered an emergent situation after hours, please call our main office number Lethbridge Office Phone Number 587-425-1600 to contact Drs. Goth or Olsen. We prefer if you contact us first rather than your own dentist or family doctor; however, if you have difficulty breathing or are experiencing severe bleeding requiring immediate attention, proceed to the emergency room or dial 911. Calls for prescription refills and routine questions should be made during our regular office hours (Monday – Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm).

Do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. There may be a metal healing abutment visible protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue. This is normal.


Some bleeding is to be expected. A gauze pad will be placed over the operated area to help control the bleeding. It should be left in place for about an hour. Remove and replace it with a new folded, moistened gauze pad directly over the bleeding wound. Press gently yet firmly on the pad with your teeth, but do not chew on it. Leave the new gauze pad in place for 45 – 60 minutes. Repeat these steps as needed at home until the bleeding slows. Avoid spitting. A moist tea bag can be used in place of gauze if oozing is persistent; the tannin in the tea bag may help to stop the bleeding. Sit or lie quietly with your head elevated. If excess bleeding occurs or continues, call the office. It is not unusual to have a little blood on the gauze pad for several hours following surgery. It is also not unusual to have a little blood on the pillow or in the saliva for 3 – 4 days after surgery. Do not sleep with gauze pads in your mouth.


Swelling, bruising and discomfort may occur after dental implant surgery.  This is completely normal. To help minimize the swelling, you can use an ice pack on the face for the first 36 hours. Apply the ice on and off for periods of 30 minutes on the side of the face nearest the surgical site.


Fluid intake should start soon after your surgery. Fluids can include water, sport drinks, fruit and vegetable juices, and soups such as chicken and beef broth.  Do not place pressure on the surgical sites, or chew solid food until directed otherwise. You will have been given specific diet instructions at the time of your surgery, depending on your individual circumstances. Be sure to follow your individualized instructions. If you have questions, call our office.


You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For mild post operative pain, an over-the-counter pain medication may be used. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Ibuprofen (Advil) are examples of appropriate medication for mild pain, provided that you do not have any allergies or health reasons to avoid them. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if in doubt. For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed. Your pain medication is best taken with food or fluids. If taken on an empty stomach, you may experience increased nausea or vomiting. Prescription strength pain medicine can also cause dizziness or make you feel groggy. Avoid operating a motor vehicle or any machinery, and avoid activities where you may injure yourself or others while on prescription pain medication. 


Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection. Antibiotics can interfere with birth control pills. Be aware that patients taking oral contraceptives should use alternate means of birth control for the remainder of the cycle. If itching or a rash develops, stop taking the medication immediately and call our office. If bowel habits become irregular, a mild laxative such as Milk of Magnesia may be taken.


Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. The night of surgery, use the prescribed Chlorhexidine (Peridex) Oral Rinse before bed. The day after surgery, the Peridex should be used twice daily, after breakfast and before bed. Be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds then spit it out. Warm salt water rinses (one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) should be used at least 4-5 times a day, as well, especially after meals. Brushing your teeth and the healing abutments is no problem. Be gentle initially with brushing the surgical areas.


Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you are considering exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. Keep in mind that you are probably not taking normal nourishment. This may weaken you and further limit your ability to exercise.


Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures should not be used immediately after surgery. You will be given specific instructions regarding any prosthesis at the time of your surgery. No pressure or chewing on the dental implant surgical site until the Oral Surgeon allows it. Placing pressure prematurely on the surgical site can jeopardize healing.


Smoking impairs healing and leads to implant failure. DO NOT SMOKE.


Consuming alcohol may increase bleeding, and can interact with prescription pain medications, increasing the risk of complications. Do not drink alcohol for at least one week following surgery or until you are no longer taking prescription pain medication.


A follow up appointment is required and is a very important aspect of dental implant surgery to ensure you are healing appropriately. Follow the instructions given to you at the time of surgery. You may have already made a follow up appointment with our office, or were directed to call to make an appointment. If the time scheduled for your follow up conflicts with your schedule, please call Lethbridge Office Phone Number 587-425-1600 to make alternate arrangements.