After having a dental implant

Dental implants

We put dental implants within the bone of your jaw. They help to support dentures, crowns (caps) or bridges. 

Implants should give you long-lasting tooth replacement if you care for them in the way teeth should be.

We give you personalised advice after your treatment about looking after your implants.

After having an implant, you might have some soreness, swelling, bleeding or bruising. Any discomfort is usually treated with regular painkillers, and should only last up to a week. Read information on symptoms after treatment. 

Leaving hospital after your treatment

If you had a dental implant under local anaesthetic, you can leave hospital when the treatment has finished and you feel well enough. 

If you had sedation for your treatment, you need to stay in hospital for a little longer while you recover.

Read about dental treatment using sedation.

Looking after your mouth

  • You should be able to eat normally after treatment. 
  • Your dentist might recommend a diet of soft foods.
  • Do not have alcohol for 24 hours after your treatment.
  • You can return to work on the day after your treatment.
  • If you wear dentures, you might not be able to wear them for up to 2 weeks after your treatment. Your dentist or nurse tells you if this is the case.
  • We recommend that you try to stop smoking before your treatment and in the long term.

For help to give up smoking, please speak to your nurse or call our stop smoking service on 020 7188 0995.

Do not brush the area where you had your implant for 1 week after treatment. 

Use a mouthwash that contains chlorhexidine (such as Corsodyl®) to keep the area free of plaque. You can buy this from a pharmacy or shop.

Hold the mouthwash in your mouth for 1 minute. Do this 2 times a day. Please follow the instructions on the label.

Symptoms after treatment

Pain

The level of discomfort is different for each person. 

Most people need regular painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. You can buy them at a pharmacy or shop. It is best to take painkillers before the local anaesthetic wears off and for the first 48 hours (2 days) after treatment. 

Your dental team can give you more information on taking painkillers and when to have them. It is important to follow their instructions and the advice in the information leaflet that comes with your painkillers.

Swelling and bruising

Some people get facial swelling and bruising after having dental implants. To help with this, use ice packs on the area for 10 minutes each hour. Do this for the first 6 hours.

You can make an ice pack can by wrapping a small bag of frozen vegetables in a clean cloth. Do not put ice directly onto your skin. 

Bleeding

If you get any bleeding:

  • roll up a clean handkerchief and press it over the wound
  • hold it there by closing your teeth firmly together 
  • do this for at least 30 minutes

If the bleeding does not stop, go to your nearest emergency department (A&E).

Follow-up appointment

You need an appointment 7 to 14 days after treatment to have your stitches removed. Your dentist also checks how your wound is healing and gently cleans it if needed. We make this appointment for you before you leave hospital or post it to you. 

It is important to have follow-up care and regular checks of your dental implants.

Any dental restorations or dentures need regular follow-up and maintenance. 

Resource number: 2846/VER3
Last reviewed: July 2021
Next review due: July 2024

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Contact us

If you have any problems or concerns, please contact the dental implant department.

Phone: 020 7188 1816

Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Email: [email protected]

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Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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