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Dental Implants - Post Op

Tooth loss is a serious issue that can greatly impact your life. Your ability to eat your favorite foods and speak properly are affected. Tooth loss also changes the shape of your jaw and gives your face a sunken appearance, making you look older than you really are. Midwest Periodontics has the solution – dental implants. Dental implants can give you back your life. This is an invasive procedure, however, and requires some special care post-op.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are a permanent alternative to dentures. Titanium rods are surgically placed in your jaw bone. These rods act as “roots” which then support your arch of missing teeth. Molds are taken of your mouth to create a custom bridge, a process which usually takes up to three months (which is also typical healing time). You will receive a temporary arch, or arches, until your permanent prosthetic teeth are ready.

Post Operative Instructions for Dental Implants:


You may experience some bleeding after surgery. Place gauze on the site and bite gently. You can also help to prevent bleeding by limiting activity and resting with your head elevated.

Pain and Swelling

Pain and swelling are both common following dental implants. You can often manage pain with an over the counter non-aspirin pain reliever (those containing aspirin may cause bleeding). Pain usually spikes about six hours after surgery, so taking something before the local anesthetic wears off can help alleviate it. For more severe pain, a prescription pain reliever may be taken as needed. Any other prescriptions, usually an antibiotic, should be taken as directed.

Any swelling during the first 48 hours can be minimized with the use of ice. Apply an ice pack wrapped in a dish towel to your cheek for 20 minutes and then remove it for another 20. After 48 hours, moist heat can be used to reduce swelling. Swelling can also be kept to a minimum by limiting your activity, sitting upright, and keeping your head elevated.


As stated previously, your activity should be limited, especially for the first week. Don’t bend over or lift heavy objects. This can aggravate bleeding and swelling. As you start to feel better, ease yourself back into your normal routine.


Soft foods are recommended while you heal, starting with liquids for at least the first few days. Choose nutrient dense foods, as these nutrients are crucial to proper healing. To this end, don’t skip meals. Soups, yogurt, sweet potatoes, smoothies, milkshakes, and soft cooked vegetables are all excellent food choices. Stay away from anything hard and crunchy – things such as nuts, seeds, chips and popcorn.

Oral Hygiene

Oral hygiene is also important for proper healing, but you shouldn’t rinse your mouth during the first 24 hours. Brush your teeth gently after each meal starting the following day. After the first 24 hours, use a prescription mouthwash or salt water rinse to help prevent infection.

Follow Ups

During the healing process, you will return to the office several times to ensure that your implants are fusing correctly and that you are healing properly. It is important to keep these visits.

When to Call

Following Dr. Southard instructions should result in healing without issue. However, should you experience heavy bleeding, pain that cannot be controlled even by prescription pain relievers or uncontrollable nausea, call the office right away.

When your implants are ready, you will return to the office to have them placed. Once in, you can return to life as normal. Even though these teeth are prosthetic, they should still be cared for as if they were your natural teeth. Should you have any questions during your healing process, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (816) 207-4005!
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Steven Southard DDS, MS
Midwest Periodontics
1006 W St Maartens Dr, Suite A
St Joseph, MO 64506

(816) 207-4005

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