After Dental Implant & Bone Grafting Surgery

Do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing and spitting until the day following surgery.  Do not try to look at the area of surgery or try touching the wound until you are seen for your follow-up.  If stitches are placed, we will look at them at the follow-up appointment, however they are typically self-dissolving.


Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Constant bleeding (where 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 pack, or a plastic bag filled with ice on the outside skin in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously, as often as possible, for the first 36 hours.


Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Only soft foods should be eaten during the first several weeks of healing, chewing on the side opposite the surgery.  The rule of thumb is if you can hear it when you chew, it is too hard.  Avoiding excessive biting pressure on the grafted area or implant is critical to proper healing.  If too much force is placed on the area of surgery, the graft or implant may shift causing infection or failure of the graft or implant.


You should begin taking pain medication as prescribed before the novacaine wears off.  Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection. 

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. On the night of surgery, use the prescribed chlorhexidine oral rinse before bed. The day after surgery, begin gentle brushing, avoiding the area of surgery.  The chlorhexidine rinse should be used twice daily, after you brush your teeth. Be sure to rinse for 2 minutes then spit it out. Warm salt-water rinses (one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) should be used at least 3-4 times a day as well, especially after meals.  If sinus grafting is performed, you should not disturb this area during healing.  We recommend that you avoid blowing your nose for 1 week and use Afrin nasal spray, 2 puffs in the nostril on the side of the surgery twice a day for 1 week.


Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. Strenuous exercise will increase your blood pressure and throbbing or bleeding may occur.  Routine exercise can begin again 48 hours after surgery.

Wearing Your Denture

Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures should not be used immediately after surgery if possible.  It is important that these appliances do not put any pressure on the area of surgery to avoid graft or implant failure.  You may be instructed to have your denture adjusted and a soft liner placed in it by your dentist.  It is important to remember that dentures in the first several weeks following surgery are used primarily for appearance, not function.