After Placement of Dental Implants

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


Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding (your mouth fills rapidly with blood) can be controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues profusely, please call for further instructions.


Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling apply an ice bag, or a plastic bag or towel filled with ice, on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously, as much as possible, for the first 36 hours.


Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.

Pain Management Suggestions


  • NSAIDs are by far the most effective medications for pain after oral surgery, however some patients cannot take them (due to ulcers/reflux, blood thinners, asthma, etc.).

1) Take 3 ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) tablets (200mg each) every 6 hours as needed. Try to get the first dose taken before the local anesthetic/numbness wears off. If needed, a maximum of 4 tablets can be taken every 6 hours – up to 3,200mg per day.


2) Take 1-2 naproxen sodium (Aleve; 220mg) every 12 hours as needed. Do not exceed 4 tablets (880mg) per day.


  • If you need better pain control after taking the NSAIDs (or if you cannot take NSAIDs), you should take Tylenol (acetaminophen):

3) Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) 325-1000mg every 4-6 hours as needed. DO NOT take more than 4,000mg of acetaminophen per day.


If you’ve taken adequate doses of an NSAID and/or Tylenol and feel that your pain is not tolerable, then it is appropriate to add the prescription opioid:

4) If you received a prescription for codeine (Tylenol #3) or hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco, Lortab, etc.) – you can take that if you need better pain control.

*Be aware that these have Tylenol/acetaminophen in them, so you must be careful to be mindful of the maximum daily dose of Tylenol, which is 4,000mg.

5) If you received a prescription for oxycodone or hydromorphone/Dilaudid: these do not contain Tylenol/acetaminophen. You should be sure to try an NSAID and Tylenol before adding these medications.

  • Pain from a tooth extraction usually resolves within 1-2 days, although infections can prolong pain for another day or two. If you are not seeing progress in your pain after 2 days, you should call our office.

Oral Surgery Nurse’s Line – (319) 337-8384

After Hours /Weekends – Mercy Hospital of Iowa City – (319) 339-0300, ask for the oral surgeon on call.


Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection.

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. The night of surgery, use the prescribed 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. Brush your teeth and the healing abutments. Be gentle initially while brushing the surgical areas.


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

Wearing your Prosthesis

Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures, should not be used immediately after surgery for at least 10 days, as discussed in the pre-operative consultation.