Dental Implants Instructions

Post Op Instructions

Dental Implants: Instructions Following Oral Surgery

Please follow the guidelines below. Call Dr. McCallum if you notice any unusual symptoms.

If you have any questions or concerns, call our office at 519-828-3895. There is always a doctor on call when the office is closed.


Minimal bleeding is expected after implant surgery. Bleeding after surgery may continue for several hours and may persist on and off for 2-4 days.


  • Swelling is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and healing. The swelling will not become apparent until 24 hours after surgery and will not reach its peak for 2-3 days. After this time, the swelling should decrease but may persist for 7-10 days.
  • Swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs. Apply the ice packs to the outside of the face 20 minutes on and then 20 minutes off while awake for the first 24 hours. After 48 hours, you may begin to use warm, moist compress to the cheek.


Unfortunately, most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort. If you do not have an allergy to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (Ibuprofen, naproxen) we recommend taking this prior to the local anesthetic wearing off. More severe pain may require a narcotic pain medication (Tylenol 3). Narcotic pain medication will make you drowsy, do not drive or operate mechanical machinery while taking the prescription. Alternate Ibuprofen (3 tablets / 200mg each) and the narcotic medication every three hours if needed(ie. start with ibuprofen—> 3 hours later—>Tylenol product—> 3 hours later—> ibuprofen—> etc.). Once you feel like you can stop the narcotic, use Ibuprofen or Tylenol.

*NOTE: If you are taking PLAVIX or COUMADIN, do NOT take Ibuprofen or Aspirin products.

Antibiotics and Anti-bacterial rinses

You will have had antibiotics prescribed. Antibiotics can be given to help prevent infection. Make sure to call the office if a rash or other unfavorable reaction occurs. Please take them as prescribed and to completion.

You may also be prescribed an antibacterial mouth rinse which should be used twice daily in the first two weeks following implant surgery. All medications should not exceed the recommended dosage.


While numb, patients should avoid hot liquids or foods. Patients may have applesauce, pudding, or jello. Once numbness wears off patients can progress to solid foods, chewing away from the surgical sites. 

Oral Hygiene

The day after surgery, you can begin brushing your teeth – teeth next to any surgical area(s) should be brushed gently). If dental implants have been placed and a portion of your implant structure is visible (ie. the healing abutment), you may start brushing the abutments 1 week after surgery. Use only a manual toothbrush to this area. You may use your electric toothbrush to your other teeth. No flossing adjacent to the implants for 2 weeks.


For the first 48 hours you should rest and relax with no physical activity. After 48 hours, you may resume activity as tolerated.


Bad breath is common and will disappear as healing occurs. Two to three days following surgery, white, possible hard tissue may be seen in the surgical site. This signifies normal, healing tissue. It’s not unusual to see the silver healing cap appear through gum tissue following procedure.

  • Dissolving stitches are commonly used. These may dissolve in 10-14 days.
  • If you do not have any non-dissolving sutures, you will receive an appointment for removal.
  • Please contact us immediately if you notice that tissues have “opened up” to the graft site and/or implant site.

Do not pull or cut the sutures yourself.

Foods to Drink and Eat While Numb

AVOID carbonated beverages and hot liquids for 48 hours


  • Water
  • Juice
  • Ice Chips
  • Popsicles


  • Applesauce
  • Jell-O
  • Pudding
  • Yogurt
  • Milkshake (no straw)

Soft Foods When Numbness is Gone

  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Pasta
  • Eggs
  • Pancakes
  • Creamed Cereals
  • Soups (be careful-not too hot)

Increase Diet as Tolerated and avoid surgical site.

Restrictions and Activity

  • Early mobilization and walking assist with recovery. Sit upright in a chair to help with swelling and breathing.
  • Avoid all contact sports or activities that put you at risk for getting hit in the face for at least 2-3 months.
  • Do not smoke cigarettes, e-cigarettes or marijuana as this negatively affects healing and may compromise the outcome.

Click here to download dental implants post-op care instructions

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