We recently went through the dental implant process in detail. An important part of this process is your healing and recovery following dental implant surgery. Properly managed, it will all go smoothly, but sometimes dental implant healing might be delayed. Here are some important tips to help your recovery go as smoothly as possible. 

Note that these are general guidelines. Your Detroit implant dentist will give you specific postoperative instructions following your procedure at Rochester Advanced Dentistry. 

woman inspecting her smile with new dental implants after recovering from surgery

Managing Bleeding and Wound Care

Bleeding is normal after dental implant surgery. Visible bleeding at the surgical site may persist for several hours. However, pink or bloody saliva may be present for a day or more following surgery. This is normal, and not a cause for concern as long as bleeding isn’t accelerating and the surgical site seems otherwise healthy. 

To help control bleeding, you might apply gauze to the surgical site and bite down gently. You may do this during the first few hours after surgery, but do not try it for too long, as this might dislodge blood clots essential for implant healing. Keeping your head elevated above your heart will help slow the bleeding. 

If you have sutures at the surgical site, leave them alone. They are soluble stitches, and will either dissolve on their own or your Detroit implant dentist will remove them at one of your follow-up appointments. 

Swelling is a normal part of the healing process. You may also develop bruising near the surgical site. You can reduce swelling by applying an ice pack to your cheek near the surgical site. Use a 20 minutes on / 20 minutes off routine for good effect. 

Oral Hygiene

Do not brush your teeth or rinse your mouth for the rest of the day following your surgery. Do not spit on the first day after surgery. Starting on the second day, you may gently brush your teeth, avoiding the surgical site. You can also rinse your mouth gently with a saltwater solution. 

Your Detroit implant dentist will clear you for brushing your implant sites at a time that’s best for your procedure.


Don’t eat until the numbness from the local anesthetic wears off. This will help you avoid burning yourself and biting your tongue, lips, and cheeks. 

Eat only soft foods on the day of your surgery. Do not use a straw for at least 24 hours following surgery. For several days after surgery, avoid foods that break up to create fragments that can irritate your surgical site, including potato chips, corn chips, nuts, and some crackers. 

Do not chew at the implant site until cleared to do so, even if you have a temporary crown there as part of the teeth on the same day procedure. 

You can start getting back to a mostly normal diet as soon as you feel up for it. Make sure you’re getting the vitamins and minerals your bones need to heal around the dental implants.

Avoid alcohol, carbonated beverages, and hot liquids for at least 48 hours after your surgery. Avoid smoking for as long as possible after your implant surgery (quitting is ideal), for at least 10 days. 


If you feel up to it, you can go back to work the day after your implant surgery. However, it’s best to avoid strenuous activity for at least 10 days following your dental implant surgery. 


Take all medications as directed. Specific medication instructions on the label override anything in these guidelines, oral instructions, or even general written instructions from the office. If you have questions about your medications, contact your Detroit implant dentist. 

In general, it’s best to start taking pain medications before the local anesthesia wears off. When you get the first sense that feeling might be returning, start taking the recommended medications. Dental implant surgery isn’t generally painful, so you might not have prescription medication. If you have no prescription, take a regular dose of an NSAID medication like ibuprofen or naproxen, unless you’re taking blood thinner medications. Then you should take acetaminophen (Tylenol). 

If you requested sedation dentistry with your dental implant procedure, have someone stay with you until the sedation wears off. 

When to Contact Our Office

Dental implant surgery is very safe, and complications are exceedingly rare. However, there are a few situations where you should contact our office:

  • You don’t understand medication or other postoperative instructions
  • Bleeding persists for more than 24 hours
  • Pain increases after the first few days
  • Swelling increases after the first few days
  • You experience a foul-smelling or foul-tasting discharge from the surgical site

In these situations, contact our office right away. 

Get Dental Implants in Detroit

As you can see, the process of recovery from dental implant surgery is relatively minor. There is little in the way of discomfort, and you don’t need to make many changes to your daily routine after the first day following surgery. If you have specific questions or want to start the dental implant process, the Detroit implant dentists at Rochester Advanced Dentistry are ready to help. 

Please call (248) 656-2020 or use our online form today to request an appointment at Rochester Advanced Dentistry, serving the Detroit area from our office in Rochester, near the Rochester Municipal Park.