Dental Implants Aftercare

With proper dental implants aftercare, patients can expect results that are durable and natural-looking. Taking the right steps following surgery can also make for a more comfortable recovery.

Typically, Union Oral Surgery advises patients to take the entire day off after the procedure and to take it easy the next day. If you are working, driving, or participating in other daily activities that require focus, give your body the time it needs to recover.

By the third day following dental implants, you can expect to be back to your regular schedule. Plan to return to our offices two weeks after your procedure. This will allow your doctor a chance to examine the implants, ensure that you are healing properly, and answer any questions you have about the surgery’s outcome or follow-up procedures.

Managing Discomfort

As part of dental implants aftercare, patients receive several medications:

  • The first helps with pain management the day of surgery and the day that follows.
  • The second is a milder pain medication that patients take for five days following surgery. In addition to improving comfort, the medication is an anti-inflammatory that can help reduce swelling.
  • Most patients get a prescription for oral antibiotics to prevent infection.

After surgery, our practice advises you to keep your head elevated and to apply an ice pack to reduce swelling and pain. Use the ice pack for at least two hours following your procedure, applying it to the side of your face for 20-minute intervals with 20-minute breaks in between. Typically, Day 3 after surgery is the worst day for post-operative swelling, with improvement to follow.

Stitches and Bandages for Dental Implants Aftercare

Our patients sometimes receive stitches to improve healing in the surgical sites. Absorbable stitches will soften and dissolve within 3-5 days.

In the first few hours after surgery, you’ll also use gauze sponges to manage bleeding. Change the gauze every 15 minutes for about two hours or until the bleeding has stopped; some people require more time. It is perfectly normal for the dental implant sites to have residual bleeding for a full 24 hours.


Dental implants aftercare is as much about not doing certain activities as it is about taking specific steps to heal. Eating is a perfect example of this.

Following your surgery, you will likely have some sensitivity and discomfort, so your appetite may be limited. However, it’s important that you eat and drink properly to get the nutrition that your body needs to recover.

In advance of your surgery, plan to stick to a soft foods diet for five days. This includes options such as spaghetti, casseroles, mashed potatoes, yogurt, and others that you can chew easily. Soft foods are less likely to damage stitches, irritate the sites of your dental implants, or cause food particles to stick to areas that are healing.    

Oral Hygiene and Dental Implants Aftercare

Following your surgery, please do not rinse your mouth or spit for 24 hours. This can put stress on the surgical sites and prevent them from healing as they should.

Most patients will receive an antibacterial mouthwash that inhibits the growth of plaque. You should start using this mouthwash 24 hours after surgery on a twice-daily basis.

Union Oral Surgery will provide you with a soft-bristled toothbrush that you should brush with throughout your recovery. Use water instead of toothpaste the first night after surgery.

Have Questions or Concerns about Dental Implants Aftercare?

Most of our patients find recovery from dental implants very manageable and well worth the results they get. That said, your comfort and safety, along with the quality of your outcome, are our priority.

We welcome you to call or email our practice with any questions you may have. Patients occasionally contact us to ask whether the symptoms they are experiencing are normal or what to do if an unforeseen incident injures the surgical site. You can expect our staff to be responsive, informative, and communicative, and if you have a question for the doctor, he will be in contact with you as soon as possible.

Learn more about dental implants and aftercare. Schedule an appointment with Union Oral Surgery online or by phone. Call (704) 291-7333.