Dental implant aftercare

About dental implant aftercare

Dental implants can last as long as natural teeth, as long as they’re cared for properly. To make sure you get the most out of your implant and to ensure it heals successfully, we’ve put together the following aftercare advice.

Immediate aftercare

After your implant has been placed, you’ll be able to go home as soon as you feel ready. You’ll need to rest until the effects of the anaesthetic have worn off, which might take several hours. Most implants are placed under local anaesthetic, but if you have a general anaesthetic or sedation, you won’t be able to drive and you’ll need someone to come and take you home.

You should be able to return to your normal routine within a day of treatment. Most people will be able to go back to work, but you should avoid anything too strenuous, such as intense exercise.

You’re also likely to experience some light bleeding which should ease over the first day or two. This is completely normal. You can try biting with some gentle pressure with a damp gauze over your implant. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, or gets worse, contact your dentist who will be happy to help.

Key do’s and dont's while your implant is healing

You should:

  • Try to only eat soft foods for at least a week following the treatment
  • Keep your mouth as clean as possible
  • Rinse your mouth with recommended mouthwash at least three or four times a day, 24 hours after treatment (your dentist will give you a recommendation)
  • Take any antibiotics you’ve been prescribed
  • Take over-the-counter pain relief, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, if you need to ease any pain

You shouldn't:

  • Eat hot food and drinks for the first 24 hours
  • Use straws or suck on anything, such as an e-cigarette
  • Do anything too strenuous for a few days after the surgery
  • Touch your implant with your fingers or your tongue
  • Drink alcohol or smoke for at least two weeks, as these can slow down the healing process
  • Wear any dentures that cover the affected area

During the healing period

Within 72 hours

Some swelling or bruising may occur in the area around the implant in the first 72 hours. This is perfectly normal and can be minimised by applying a small ice pack to the area for 10 minutes every hour.

Remember to use the mouthwash your dentist has recommended three to four times a day, which will help with the healing process. If your dentist has given you antibiotics, you must remember to take them.

After three days

After three days, any swelling should have gone down and the area around the implant should be well on the way to healing. If you’ve had any stitches, your dentist will schedule an appointment with you to have them removed about seven to 10 days after your implant has been placed.

Four to eight months

You’ll then need to wait for your implant to bond with your jawbone before you have your permanent tooth or teeth fitted. This could take between four and eight months, but will vary from person to person. You’ll need to attend regular check-ups to make sure your implant is healing well.

When you should contact your dentist

Very occasionally the unexpected may happen, such as an adverse reaction to anaesthetic, infection or excessive bleeding; and there’s a very slight chance that the bone around your implant doesn’t heal and so the implant becomes loose. But don’t worry, we’re here to help.

Get in touch with your Bupa dentist if you experience:

  • Throbbing pain on the day of the operation
  • A numbness where the implant is more than 12 hours after the operation
  • Pain or swelling around the implant more than 10 days after the operation
  • Bleeding that won’t stop after 30 minutes, even after biting down on a damp gauze
  • The implant feels loose

Long-term aftercare

Your implant can last a lifetime with the right care. You can keep your implant clean in the same way you do with your natural teeth. Some top tips include:

  • Using a soft toothbrush or electric toothbrush to clean your teeth twice a day for two minutes
  • Using interdental brushes or floss daily. Your dentist might recommend specific cleaning aids designed to clean around implants
  • Avoiding smoking. If you currently smoke, your dentist will advise you give up before the procedure
  • Brushing on the inside, outside and on top of your teeth where you chew
  • Changing your toothbrush regularly
  • Attending regular appointments with a dental hygienist for a deep clean


Get in touch with your local practice

If you’re looking for advice on implant aftercare or are interested in having one placed, find your local practice.

Find out more

^ We may record or monitor our calls.

Bupa Dental Care is a trading name of Oasis Dental Care Limited. Registered in England and Wales No: 00478127. Registered office: Bupa Dental Care, Vantage Office Park, Old Gloucester Road, Hambrook, Bristol, United Kingdom BS16 1GW.

Oasis Dental Care Limited has a number of trading names including Bupa Dental Care. For a list of all our different trading names please follow this link.

Content is loading