After having a dental implant

Dental implants

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

Implants are long-lasting replacements for your tooth roots if you care for them properly. We give you personalised advice 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 about the side effects of treatment.

Leaving hospital after your treatment

If you had a dental implant under local anaesthetic, you can leave hospital when the treatment is 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.

Looking after your mouth

  • You should be able to eat normally after your 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 have 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 dental implant for 1 week after treatment.

Use a mouthwash that contains chlorhexidine (such as Corsodyl®) to keep the area free of plaque (a sticky layer of bacteria that builds up on the teeth). You can buy this mouthwash 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.

Side effects of treatment


The amount of pain 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 painkillers and when to take 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 swelling and bruising on their face 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 by wrapping a small bag of frozen vegetables in a clean cloth. Do not put ice directly onto your skin.


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 (replacements for missing or damaged teeth), including dentures, also need regular follow-up care.

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

Trusted Information Creator. Patient Information Forum

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]

Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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