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After dental implant surgery, patients must diligently take care of the area that has been treated. Throughout the first month, the patient’s care routine will be more involved as the implant is being integrated with the bone and tissues. Patients should avoid contact with the wound the first few days after the treatment. Patients should also avoid rinsing, spitting, and touching the mouth for 24 hours after the surgery.

Dental implant surgery care instructions include:

  • Antibiotics – The dentist will prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection at the surgical site. Patients should take the prescribed antibiotics 24 hours after the procedure. Patients should also rinse twice daily with oral rinse and 4-5 times daily with a warm saltwater rinse. Any over-the-counter pain medication can also be taken (e.g., Tylenol®, Aleve®, ibuprofen, etc.).
  • Bleeding – Bleeding within the first 24 hours after surgery is normal. The dentist will suggest biting on gauze pads to control the blood flow.
  • Diet – Diet should consist of soft foods. Patients can return to a normal diet as soon as they feel ready. Patients should also stay hydrated.
  • Hygiene – The surgical site should always be kept clean. Patients should brush teeth as they normally do and avoid the dental implant. The rinses will help disinfect the surgical site.
  • Swelling – Swelling can be seen following the treatment. To help minimize the swelling, patients can keep their head elevated and avoid strenuous activities. Ice packs can be used as needed.
  • Wearing prosthesis or night guard – Partial dentures, flippers, full dentures, retainers, or night guards should not be worn for the first 10 days after surgery.
  • Smoking – Smoking will increase the risk of infection and patients should avoid smoking for a minimum of 2 weeks after the surgery.

What does recovery involve?

Dental implant recovery timelines will vary based on the patient’s dental implant procedure. The patient should maintain proper oral hygiene and follow the dentist’s aftercare instructions carefully. The implant should remain clean and properly cared for to heal into place. Medications will be prescribed to reduce any discomfort. The dentist will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor the health of the dental implant.