If you care for them properly, dental implants can last a lifetime. That means caring for them right on day one. Some people worry that this can be hard, but the truth is that it’s actually simple to care for your new dental implants.

These care instructions are basic and general. At the time of your procedure, your Anchorage implant dentist at Excellence in Dentistry will give you more detailed instructions that you should follow carefully.

Managing Bleeding after Surgery

It’s normal to experience bleeding after your dental implant surgery. Depending on the results of your procedure, you may have gauze packed on a stitched up surgical site, a healing abutment, or a fully functional crown or bridge. With All-on-4 implant dentures, almost everyone gets a full bridge immediately after surgery.

Whatever the result of your surgery, you might see bleeding for up to several hours after surgery. If the surgical site is accessible, apply gentle pressure with gauze or a wet tea bag to control bleeding. Stop putting pressure on the wound after the first few hours to avoid dislodging blood clots necessary for healing. You might notice pink or bloody saliva for up to a day after surgery.

If you have them, don’t mess with sutures. These will probably dissolve on their own, but if not, your implant dentist will set up a time to remove your sutures.

Swelling is also a normal part of the healing process. Expect that you will see some swelling and/or bruising that will worsen for the first few days after the procedure. If you want to reduce swelling and bruising, apply an ice pack to the cheek near the surgical site, removing it after 20 minutes. Rest for 20 minutes before applying the ice pack again.


It’s a good idea to take the rest of the day off after your dental implant surgery. Just relax and focus on recovery. If you had sedation during your procedure, have a responsible adult stay with you until the sedation wears off. If you can, get them to stay the rest of the day and take care of you, though it’s not strictly necessary.

Listen to your body as you recover. Most people will go back to work the next day, but if you don’t feel well, stay home.

Avoid strenuous activities for at least 10 days after surgery, including strenuous work, leisure, and exercise.

Oral Hygiene

Be careful with oral hygiene until your dental implants are fully healed. On the day of surgery, don’t brush your teeth, rinse, or spit.

Starting the next day, you can brush and floss, but avoid the surgical site(s). Rinse the surgical sites gently with a saltwater solution.

At your follow-up visits, we will evaluate your healing, and your implant dentist will let you know when you can brush and floss normally at the implant sites.


Don’t eat anything until your mouth is no longer numb–you might accidentally bite yourself. Also avoid hot beverages that might burn you until you can properly sense temperature.

Eat only soft foods on the day of your surgery. This isn’t quite a liquid diet–you can eat, just don’t eat anything you can’t easily cut with a fork without creating crumbs and fragments.

Don’t drink alcohol for at least 48 hours after surgery. For a while after surgery, avoid foods that break into tiny fragments and can get into your wound.

Even if you have a provisional restoration right after surgery, don’t start chewing normally immediately. Your implant dentist will tell you when it’s okay to start using your implant-supported restorations to eat.


Take medications as directed by your implant dentist. Specific instructions on the label are more important than what’s in this guide or even the spoken instructions you received at our office. If you’re confused about a prescription we issued, you can contact our office for clarification.

If your implant dentist prescribed pain medication, don’t take it until you start to feel sensation from the numbed areas. If you don’t have prescription pain medication, you can use over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication as directed. Never exceed the label recommendations unless you get explicit instructions to do so.

When to Contact Our Office

Dental implant complications are rare. When they occur, a rapid response can prevent long-term consequences, so be vigilant.
You should let us know if:

  • You’re confused about instructions for medication or postoperative care
  • You have significant bleeding for more than 24 hours
  • Swelling or pain increases significantly after the first few days
  • You experience:
    • Discharge from the wound that looks, smells, or tastes bad
    • Excessive warmth at the surgical site
    • Fever
    • Other signs of infection

Don’t hesitate to call. We’re happy to answer any questions and put your mind at ease.

Get Dental Implants in Anchorage

Recovery from dental implant surgery is typically minor. It’s easy to care for your implants, and within a few weeks you will just care for them almost as if they were natural teeth.

Are you ready to get dental implants or have additional questions about recovery? Please call (907) 349-0022 or use our online form today to request an appointment at Excellence in Dentistry in Anchorage.