The fact that you only need a local anesthetic demonstrates that your dental implant surgery is fairly minor. But it's still surgery, and so some aftereffects are to be expected, such as swelling. But how much swelling should you be expecting?

The Peak of Your Swelling

As is the case with any type of oral surgery, the swelling of local tissues peaks after the procedure, and not during it. You might be a little concerned that your swelling continues to develop in the days following your surgery, and the precise timing of the peak will vary from person to person, but it will peak before long before immediately beginning to subside.

Icing Your Swelling

The physical appearance of any swelling can be concerning, but it may not necessarily be an issue, since you'll want to take it easy in the days following your surgery, and might not be interested in socializing. As recommended by your dentist, you may wish to immediately begin to manage your swelling by the periodic application of an ice pack to your jaw throughout the day. Remember, that your swelling will quickly subside (having reached its peak within a couple of days after your surgery).

Pain Medication

You will be directed to take pain relief as needed, and for most patients, this only needs to be over-the-counter medication (which further underlines how straightforward dental implant surgery is). You will typically be instructed to take ibuprofen, as this not only reduces your pain but also helps to minimize inflammation, which contributes to managing your swelling.


Sleeping with facial swelling can be a challenging experience. You may wish to prop your head up using extra pillows, but if this is uncomfortable, use a travel pillow (the kind that wraps around your neck) to elevate your head. Elevating your head will help to control swelling, while also preventing you from inadvertently rolling onto the site of your surgery while you sleep—which can be rather unpleasant.

Additional Swelling

Of course, dental implant services include a number of follow-up appointments, but don't be afraid to contact your dentist if you suspect that your recovery isn't going as smoothly as you hoped. Your swelling should peak two to three days after your surgery, before rapidly subsiding. If your swelling returns after its initial appearance, this can suggest a postoperative infection, and you might need treatment. So if your swelling should come back, please contact your dentist.

You can definitely expect swelling after dental implant surgery, but it's not going to be excessive or long-lasting. For more information on a dental implant procedure, contact a professional near you.