Post-Operative Instructions for Oral Surgery


Avoid eating solid food until after the anesthetic has worn off to avoid unknowingly biting yourself.


Intermittent bleeding is normal, but should never be severe. Following surgery avoid using a straw for at least 3 days. Also, avoid aggressively swishing with mouthwash or heavily spitting as this can dislodge the body’s natural clotting process, which can cause bleeding, discomfort and slow the initial healing process. Strenuous exercise following the procedure can also increase bleeding. If any excessive bleeding occurs, press a moist, dark tea bag to the area until it has clotted (20-30 minutes).


Some swelling is to be expected as part of the initial healing process, but keeping inflammation down is critical to the success of the implant. Applying ice packs in 15 minute intervals during the first 72 hours can help reduce swelling. Do NOT use warm compresses.

Post-op Medication

Take antibiotics and use prescription mouth rinse as prescribed. If you are prescribed narcotic pain medication, do not drive or operate machinery. If you do not achieve adequate relief you may supplement with an analgesic such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). Do NOT take aspirin. To avoid nausea, do not take medications on an empty stomach and do not wait for pain to become severe before taking medications.

Healing Process

It typically takes gum tissue 3-4 weeks to heal, and remodeling of the bone may take 6 months to a year. Occasionally small slivers of bone, aka bone spurs, work themselves to the surface of the gum tissue. This is a normal part of the bone remodeling process and removal may be necessary.

Sinus Elevation

For 2 weeks following surgery, do not sniff or blow your nose, smoke or use smokeless tobacco, drink liquids through a straw, or lift lip to examine area. If you must sneeze, do so with your mouth open to avoid any sinus pressure.


Begin your normal oral hygiene routine as soon as possible after surgery, be sure to avoid swishing and spitting. Soreness and swelling may not permit vigorous brushing of all areas, but make every effort to clean your teeth within the bounds of comfort.

Rest and Diet

Getting plenty of rest immediately following the implant placement and throughout the initial healing is ideal. Keep head elevated when lying down to avoid discomfort. A nutritious diet with plenty of fluids is critical during the implant healing process. Soft foods such as fish, stew and soups, eggs, cooked cereals, cooked vegetables, cottage cheese and yogurts are recommended, along with supplemental drinks such as Ensure. You may also take 500mg Vitamin C 2-4 times daily for optimal healing. Avoid spicy or acidic foods such as tomatoes and orange juice, and foods like nuts, sunflower seeds, and popcorn as they may cause discomfort or get lodged in socket areas

Dry Sockets

If a dry socket occurs (loss of blood clot from socket), there is a distinct, persistent throbbing pain in the jaw. Smoking or using a straw significantly increases the risk of a dry socket. If you do not see steady improvement during the first few days after surgery, don’t suffer needlessly; call the office and report symptoms so you can be seen as soon as possible

Bone Graft

No Straws, aggressive brushing, rinsing or spitting for 7 days following a bone graft procedure.

When to Notify the Doctor

  • If you have profuse bleeding.
  • If you are unable to maintain a nutritious diet in the first 48 hours.
  • Increased pain or swelling after the third day.
  • If sutures become dislodged or you notice a foul odor coming from the area.
  • Allergic reactions to any prescribed medications.
  • If you have a temporary crown or removable appliance that is “hitting” the implant, as too much pressure on the implant during the first several months of healing can lead to failure.

Questions? We are always here in person to answer any questions you might have, so don’t hesitate to contact the office at (802) 878-5591

Meet Your Dentists

Excellent care every time! Dr Mackay and his entire staff is knowledgeable, kind, patient, and trustworthy. Highly recommend.


Dr. Feeley, our main dentist, and the entire staff are consistently courteous, attentive and respectful. They very obviously keep up to date with “best practice” assuring that their patients receive the best possible care available.