Caring for your dental implant.

Having a dental implant placed to hold a denture can be an exciting time in your life and you will soon be showing the world your brand new smile. But, first, there are just a few things you need to do to ensure the success of your dental implant.


To control the initial post-operative bleeding, place tightly rolled gauze directly onto the surgical site for one to two hours. Apply pressure by biting down firmly on the gauze.


Pain medication should be taken before the freezing wears off, typically within one to two hours. To prevent infection, you must take the full course of antibiotics.


Do not rinse or spit on the day of your surgery. After 24 hours, you should use a warm salt water rinse every two hours, then every four to six hours for the next two weeks. The recommended concentration is 1/4 teaspoon of table salt dissolved in eight ounces of warm water. Chlorohexidine oral rinse should be used according to the directions, in addition to the saltwater rinses. On the second day after surgery, try using a soft toothbrush on your gums and teeth.


Abstain from smoking for at least 24 hours following surgery. Smoking inhibits blood supply and healing.

Ice Packs

Ice packs should be used for the first 12 hours after surgery. Place the ice pack on the face, over the surgical site and alternate 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off.


Swelling usually peaks around three days after surgery and will gradually lessen over the following days. Bruising is very common and will disappear along with the swelling. Opening and closing your mouth while swollen will reduce muscle stiffness. Contact our office immediately if the swelling suddenly returns after the first week.


Drink plenty of fluids and eat a soft diet until your normal diet can be resumed. Avoid hot foods or drinks while your mouth is frozen. Straws should not be used, as they may increase bleeding.


Stitches should dissolve in approximately 1 week. If they are still present at your post-operative visit they will be removed by a nurse.