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

Dr. J. Allen Feeley DDS
Dr. J. Allen Feeley DDS
“I enjoy being able to take care of people on a daily basis, whether it is getting them out of pain, improving their smile, or simply keeping them in excellent dental health. Having practiced over 30 years, I have enjoyed the relationships that I’ve developed with our family of patients.”

Full Biography

Dr. Nathan Makay DDS
Dr. Nathan Makay DDS
“My profession means everything to me. It is what drives me every day and, other than my family, it is what I enjoy the most. Having the opportunity to make people feel better about themselves and their smiles, and to work with people who enjoy it as well, is unexplainable.”

Full Biography

Dr. Michael L. Gibilisco DMD
Dr. Michael L. Gibilisco DMD
“Some children dream to grow up and become astronauts or cowboys, but I’ve always wanted to be a dentist. Now my profession is my passion and my life. Every day is an adventure and the opportunity to help others is a gift to me.”

Full Biography

Dr. Jessica Hacker DDS
Dr. Jessica Hacker DDS
“I view myself as an advocate for the patient’s health, not as some sort of Dentistry Dictator. My job is to give patients as many options as possible, explain the differences, and help them make decisions that fit their lives.”

Full Biography

What Sets Us Apart?


The professionals at Essex Family Dental are among the most skilled dental care teams in Vermont. Dr. J. Allen Feeley, Dr. Nathan Makay, Dr. Michael L. Gibilisco, and Dr. Jessica Hacker apply their expertise and consult with one another for the unique benefit of the people they treat.


Your ease at our practice is very important to us, whether that means a comfortable waiting room, painless treatment, or feeling informed about your care. Our doctors are happy to educate you about your treatment options and our staff is always gentle.


Essex Family Dental keeps the most convenient hours, offering appointments until 7pm Monday-Thursday, including morning and afternoon appointments on Friday and Saturday. We also schedule same-day treatment for patients with emergency needs.

A few words from our patients:

Four or five years ago, my son’s mother was not getting him to the dentist, and I only had him on the weekends, so I needed to find a dentist that had weekend hours. There are not many out there, and when I found EFD, I was pleasantly surprised. They have three or four dentists, but we have only ever seen Dr. Kanin. I like my other dentist as well, but the Saturday hours are what sold me on EFD. They also have a lot of evening hours available. Very convenient.
James M., YELP
Dr Feeley and staff has given great care for the past 6 years. What impresses me most is their reliance on technology…from playing Sirius for their music to taking digital X-rays, the technology is top notch. The staff is friendly and a pleasure to deal with. I have 5 kids and take three of them here and two of them elsewhere.
A dentist showing porcelain teeth to pacient
This office is wonderful! They are so nice and professional, and sensitive to those who have had past bad experiences (me) or are timid about the dentist (my daughter). I finally found a good dentist in the area!
Sara R, YELP