When Can I Go Back to Work After Dental Implant Surgery?

Modern dental implants have the ability to completely revitalize a patient’s lifestyle. It’s natural, then, to wonder how quickly you can return to your normal routine after the procedure, including going back to work.

The short answer is that many patients are able to return to work the day after dental implant surgery, and very few patients have to take more than a day or two off. Of course, every case is different, and even with outpatient surgery it’s possible that complications could extend your recovery timetable.

Here are several factors to consider when planning your return to work after dental implant surgery.

1. Number of implants

Patients who only receive one or two implants face the easiest recovery, which means they have the shortest timetable for returning to work as well.

If you’re receiving more than a few implants, you may want to build an extra day or two into your plan to allow swelling, bruising and other post-surgical effects to subside.

2. Bone grafting

Sometimes, there isn’t enough bone to support dental implants. Bone grafting is a method of using tissue from elsewhere in your body or a tissue bank to augment the implant site.

Minor bone grafts are unlikely to significantly alter your timetable, but more complex ones have the potential to add additional recovery time.

3. Following post-op instructions

Whether or not your implants require bone grafting and no matter how many implants you receive, your oral surgeon will send you home with specific post-op instructions. Following these instructions as carefully as possible is the best way to minimize your recovery time.

Keeping your mouth clean after dental implant surgery is vital to avoiding infections. Following the recommended diet and avoiding alcohol can help stave off complications as well. And avoid smoking at all costs—it can delay healing, cause infections and limit the long-term success of your implants.

Take it easy

No matter how quickly you return to work after dental implant surgery, it’s important to take it easy and not overexert yourself. Intense physical activity could increase swelling, throbbing, bleeding and overall discomfort.

Don’t forget that your regular caloric and fluid intake could decrease after surgery due to a soft diet. Adjust your routine accordingly for a few days to avoid any fatigue or lightheadedness that could result from this sudden change.