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One of the top reasons that people put off getting Dental Implants is fear of the process itself. It’s a surgical procedure, and surgery can be scary. And yet it’s not as bad as some people fear.

I emphasize with my patients who fear surgery, or any dental procedure. Truth be told, I don’t much enjoy sitting in that chair myself!

That’s why I’ve focused much of my practice on making my patients feel safe and comfortable at all times. We even specialize in sedation dentistry in order to offer a comfortable experience for even the most nervous patients.

Here are some pointers on what to expect when you’re recovering from Dental Implant Surgery.

What to Expect Just after Dental Implant Surgery

The first thing to note is that many of my patients report feeling far less adverse effects from the surgery than they expected! They report the pain being minimal, comparable to the pain after getting a crown put on. With proper aftercare practices, your pain be quite manageable.

It is natural to feel some pain after a dental implant surgery, but it’s important to know that it is absolutely bearable, and easily managed with proper aftercare.

There will be some swelling in your face which peaks at about 48 hours, and then begins to diminish.

Once the numbness begins to wear off in your face and jaw, there will be some discomfort and minor pain.

There will be some bleeding and oozing at the site of your Dental Implant. This will be fairly minimal, and will begin to taper off after 24-36 hours.

The bottom line is the most uncomfortable aspects of your Dental Implant Surgery last about 48 hours…at the most!

Aftercare for Dental Implant Surgery

I’ll go over the expected side effects from dental implant surgery, and the recommended regimens to manage and minimize them.

For the swelling, you want to keep ice on your face for 30 minutes at a time. It is recommended that you do 30 minutes on, 30 minutes off for the first 24 hours after surgery. Ideally you will spend some of that time asleep of course, so just remember to keep the ice on for 30 minute increments whenever you’re awake. This will greatly reduce the time period for which you will notice swelling, as well as keep the swelling to a minimum.

For the pain, over-the-counter medications typically used for sprains, and headaches will suffice. I will prescribe other medications as needed based on your medical record. As long as you take your medications as directed, they should suffice for alleviating and minimizing the pain you may experience after your dental implant surgery.

For the bleeding and oozing at the site of your implant, I will supply you with gauze in order to staunch the bleeding. Immediately following the surgery, you should bite down on the gauze for 3 hours. After that time, you will have clean gauze to replace it as needed. During this time you should keep your head elevated as much as possible. Any bleeding or oozing should diminish after 23-36 hours.

Other Things to Know About Post Dental Implant Surgery

It’s important to follow a liquid diet for the first 24 hours after surgery. So make sure you stock up on soups, juices, and water! You’ll be able to ingest liquid within an hour after surgery.

You may feel like rinsing your mouth out right after surgery, but you don’t want to do that! It’s fine to swallow liquid, but you don’t want to disturb the site right away with swishing and rinsing. After 24 hours you can do a gentle rinsing with mild salt water.

After 24 hours it is safe to start cleaning the site of your implant. A soft bristled brush is ideal, but you can also use other devices such as a Waterpik. You will be given full instructions on how to clean your implants, and the site of the implant at the time of your surgery.


Dental Implant Surgery is not as bad as you might think! There may be some discomfort for a day or two, and the hassle of keeping ice handy and your head elevated of course, but the results are so worth it! Over and over I’m told “Why didn’t I do this sooner?!”

Don’t wait another day to get the smile you deserve. I serve patients all over The Greater Bay Area, from San Francisco and the Peninsula, to Los Altos, Palo Alto, and all the surrounding communities. Give us a call today, we can’t wait to give you the smile you deserve!

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