After Placement of Dental Implants

Dental implants are placed just below the gum line. A temporary healing cap protrudes just enough through the gum to keep it from closing over the implant. Use the Chlorhexadine (PERIDEX) mouth rinse twice a day as directed if prescribed. This can include either swishing your entire mouth with it, or dipping a q-tip in the mouthwash and gently painting it along the healing cap and gum tissue. Avoid brushing or flossing immediately around the implant(s) or incisions. After two weeks, begin gently using a soft bristle toothbrush around the healing cap after each meal.

You can wear your flipper, denture, or partial over the implant healing caps, but these removable appliances should NOT directly hit against the healing cap when you chew. Repeated biting force on the implant could interfere with the implant fusing to the socket bone. If you notice pressure on the implant, please contact your general dentist or oral surgeon. Adjustments may need to be made to your appliance. The comfort and fit of these appliances usually improves as any initial gum swelling goes away.

Occasionally, the healing cap can come off. If this occurs, don’t panic! Call the office so we can reinsert it. If you wait more than a few days, the gum tissue can start to grow over the implant.

Dental implants require a period of healing, called osseointegration, where the titanium surface fuses to the surrounding bone. Your surgeon will monitor your progress and let you know when your general dentist may begin restoring the implant(s).

Instructions After Dental Implant Surgery

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 up rapidly with blood) can be controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues 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 24 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.


You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate pain, 1 or 2 Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every 3-4 hours. Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may be taken instead of Tylenol. Ibuprofen, bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: limit dosages to 3200mg per 24-hour periods. For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed. Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic, or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it.


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 Peridex Oral Rinse, if prescribed, 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 (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.

Wearing your Prosthesis

Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures may or may not be used immediately after surgery.  Please consult with your surgeon.

Related Links

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