Post-Op Care

Post Operative Care

Here are our general recommendations for what you should do and avoid after your procedure at Dental Implants & Periodontics of Boston. Our periodontist or staff may have more care instructions specific to your procedure. If you have questions about post-op care, call our office at (617) 456-9714.

What to Do/Expect on Day 1


Avoid chewing on the surgery site and gently clean the area after every meal

Begin with soft and cold foods—yogurt, pudding, applesauce, smoothies, ice cream, protein shakes

If certain food causes pain, try softer foods

Hydrate! Water is best. No straws.

Normal diet can be resumed as tolerated

Pain Management - Staying on top of the
pain is key!

We recommend alternating over-the-counter acetaminophen (Tylenol) 1000mg and ibuprofen 600mg every 6 hours—by staggering the medications, you will be taking something every 3 hours

Narcotic pain medication may have been prescribed to manage moderate to severe pain

The narcotic may be taken in addition to your scheduled ibuprofen and acetaminophen, as prescribed

If the narcotic is combined with acetaminophen, you will need to reduce the use of acetaminophen accordingly (e.g. Norco, hydrocodone/APAP)

Do not work, drive, or go to school if you are taking any narcotics


Apply ice packs to the outside of face for the first 24- 48 hours in 20-minute increments

Try your best to sleep on your back and not on the side of your face where you had surgery

Keep head elevated

Controlling Bleeding

Place folded, moist gauze directly over surgical site and bite down firmly

Replace gauze every 30 minutes until bleeding subsides or is light pink

Do not fall asleep with gauze inside the mouth

Depending on if dissolvable or non-dissolvable sutures were placed, they will be removed at your post-op appointment

If bleeding continues, biting on a moist black tea bag for 30-minutes can help constrict blood vessels

If you continue to have large blood clots form in your mouth, wipe the area off firmly until you can see the surgical site, then apply pressure with cold, moist gauze for 30 minutes.

Sleep with a towel on your pillow for the first night is advisable if you drool

If persistent or heavy bleeding lasts longer than 8 hours and cannot be controlled, call us!

Oral Hygiene

Resume normal brushing and flossing being very gentle around the surgical sites

Gently rinse mouth after meals to avoid getting food trapped in sockets—Do not spit after rinsing

Complete gentle warm salt-water rinses 3-5 times per day for the first 7 days

Mix 1 tsp of salt with 1 cup of warm water until salt is dissolved—Gently rinse

Standing over a sink, allow salt-water to fall out of mouth—Do not spit!

Day 2 through 7

Pain & Swelling

Around day 2, increased pain due to swelling and absence of local anesthetic is normal

The use of ice, pain medication schedule, rest and elevation of the head should help manage discomfort

Applying ice packs to the cheeks, alternating sides every 20 minutes, can help minimize swelling

Swelling can last up to 7 days or longer

Around day 3 –4, use moist heat compresses for pain management

Curved Syringe

If provided a curved syringe, it may be used 5 days after your procedure for removal of debris that is not cleared with gentle rinsing

Irrigate surgical sites with warm water until food debris has been cleared

Avoid aggressive use of the syringe as this may dislodge the blood clot

You may use the syringe until sockets have completely healed – up to 2 months

Dry Sockets

3-5 days after your procedure, dry sockets can occur. Watch out for:

  • Increased pain that progressively worsens despite medication

  • Radiating jaw or ear pain

  • Foul taste or smell near the extraction site

For 7 days, avoid the use of a straw, spitting, or smoking as these actions may cause blood clots to become dislodged.

Call our office at (617) 456-9714 if you notice signs of dry socket

Week 1 – Week 2

Use over-the-counter pain medication as needed

Diet can return to normal as tolerated

Continue using curved syringe as needle up to 2 months after your procedure


Meet the Doctor:
Daniel Sabra


Highly skilled periodontist, Dr. Sabra has performed more than 1,000 procedures for Boston area residents from same day dental implants to periodontal regeneration. Learn more about Dr. Sabra by visiting his bio.


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