Do not disturb the wound. Avoid forceful rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound for the first few days after surgery. There may be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gum tissue.


Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for the first several days. Excessive bleeding (your mouth fills up rapidly with blood) can usually be controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 10 – 15 minutes. If significant bleeding continues please call the office for further instructions.


Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice pack, on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously, as much as possible, for the first 12 – 24 hours.


Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid very 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, but try to avoid biting food directly over the the surgical site. It is also best to avoid food items with small seeds or particles, as these can sometimes work themselves under the gum tissue at the surgical site.


You should begin taking pain medication before the local anesthetic begins to wear off. For moderate pain, either Tylenol or Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may be taken every 4 hours. For more significant pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed. As these medicines are often irritating to the stomach, it is usually best to have eaten solid food prior to taking the medications in order to minimize the irritating effect of the medications.


Be sure to take any prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection.

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. The night of surgery, use the prescribed Peridex Oral Rinse before bed. The day after surgery, the Peridex should be used three times daily; after breakfast, after lunch, and before bed. Be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds, and then spit it out. Brushing the teeth adjacent to the surgical site is very important, but a soft bristle brush should be used. If after implant surgery there are metal healing abutments visible in the mouth, these should be cleaned with a cotton swab dipped in the Peridex for the first week, then with the toothbrush after that time. Be very gentle initially with brushing the surgical areas. Some bleeding after brushing is to be expected, and is perfectly normal, so don’t avoid brushing if any minor bleeding is encountered.


Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you have been sedated, you should avoid any activities that require coordination or balance, and you may not drive a car the day of surgery. On the day after the surgery, you may resume normal activities, and it is permissible to drive as long as you have been off the prescription pain medications for at least 8 hours. It would be best to avoid any strenuous exercise for the first 48 hours after surgery as this may produce excessive bleeding.

Wearing a Prosthesis

Every situation is different, and Dr. Digney will give you instructions regarding the wearing of partial dentures, flippers, retainers, or full dentures after the procedure. This will be discussed in the pre-operative consultation.