Dental Implants Post Operative

Receiving dental implants is a surgical procedure that may require extended recovery time.

The following information is only a guide and post-operative patients should follow professional instructions to the letter.

All time periods are indicative only and will vary based on each individual case, the nature of the surgery performed, medications prescribed and general health of the patient.

General post-operative care instructions may also apply.

What to Expect

Following dental implants, patients may experience up to 5 days of significant discomfort, swelling and pain. Immediately following surgery, patients may present with bruising around the face and significant swelling in the jaw and under the eyes. Pain may be experienced in the ears, nose and head.

Some oozing of blood from the site of the surgery should be anticipated and may continue for upwards of 48 hours.

Depending on circumstances, after up to 15 days, swelling will begin to subside.

Sleeping with a slightly elevated head during the recovery period can aid in the reduction of swelling and minimise the drainage of post-operative fluids into the throat.


Patients will be medicated throughout the procedure and may still feel numb for up to several hours following surgery. Antibiotics will be prescribed to treat any active, present infection and prevent infection during the recovery process.

Pain Management

Pain relief will be prescribed by the dental surgeon and should not be supplemented with any form of additional medication unless specifically instructed, particularly ibuprofen and aspirin as these may increase bleeding.

Prescribed pain relief can be taken in windows of between 2.5-4 hours, starting as soon as the post-operative numbness begins to wear off.

Ice packs may also be indicated to aid the reduction of swelling but should never be applied directly to the skin.


Antibiotics are prescribed to treat any active infection and to prevent infection from forming.

If prescribed, it is essential the full course of antibiotics be completed.

Rinsing and Cleaning

Regular rinsing of the mouth aids proper healing. Post operative patients should follow the rinsing instructions provided by the dental surgeon carefully.

General guidelines include rinsing the mouth well with lukewarm salt water or with mouth rinse after each meal, and before going to sleep. This routine should be maintained until otherwise instructed.

Extraction sites should not be cleaned with anything other than with the regular daily rinse routine. Remaining teeth can continue to be cleaned as normal, although taking additional care is recommended.

Rest and Relaxation

It is advisable to maintain a quiet profile for at least the first 5 days following surgery, even for patients that recover quickly.

It may be advisable to avoid exercise for up to 2-3 weeks in order to avoid raising blood pressure, as an elevated pulse may continue to cause pain in the surgical sites.

Eating and Drinking

Postoperative patients should not eat hot food or drink hot beverages for up to 24 hours following surgery to avoid distress to the treated area.

Soft foods are recommended, although avoiding dairy may be advisable for up to three days following surgery as the combination of dairy with post-operative fluids and pain relief medication may cause gastric disturbance.

It is vital to increase fluids during the recovery process although advisable to avoid beverages with high acidity such as orange juice.

Continued Bleeding

Some bleeding and oozing from the surgical sites is to be anticipated for up to 48 hours following surgery. To address such, start with rinsing the mouth with lukewarm salt water.

Clean up the area with clean gauze and then place a rolled up wad of gauze over the area that is bleeding and bite down firming, maintaining pressure for no less than half an hour.

If bleeding continues following this, replace with another piece of gauze.

If extensive bleeding is experienced despite the above instructions, or is still happening after 48 hours, advice from the dental surgeon should be sought.


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