When Can I Return to Work after having Dental Implants Placed?

Dental Implants Wellness Dental

One of the most important aspects of planning your dental implant treatment is understanding the healing phase.  If you work, whether part-time or full-time, you will most likely need to take some time off so that you can recuperate from the implant surgery.

The healing process differs for every person.  What may happen very quickly in a young, healthy patient may take twice or three times as long in an older patient with medical complications.

This blog will answer some of the most common questions we hear regarding the healing phase of dental implant surgery.  There is not one right answer to each of these questions because they depend on each indivdual’s unique healing process.  In general, we will provide an average range of what is to be expected.

When Can I Return to Work?

In most cases, the pain and swelling experienced after dental implant surgery is minimal.  Most people schedule their surgeries toward the end of the week, on either a Thursday or Friday, and plan to return to work on Monday, having the weekend to rest and recuperate.

The average patient may take prescription pain medication for the first 2-3 days and then switch to over-the-counter pain relievers.  By taking only non-narcotic medications to manage any post-operative pain, you can return to work within a few days of surgery.

As always, there are some cases that are more complicated than others.  These patients may experience more post-operative pain, which requires a longer period of rest before returning to work.  It also may require the use of narcotic pain medication for more than the first few days.  Because these mediations induce drowsiness, you should not drive or work while taking them.

At Wellness Dental, our dental implant experts anticipate complications in their various implant surgeries and will tell you if a longer healing period is necessary in your case.  We know that each patient is unique, and we customize our post-operative care for each person’s individual needs. 

What Improves the Healing Process?

There are certain aspects of the healing process that you can control.  By taking these steps, you will improve your body’s ability to heal, shorten the length of time it takes to heal, and improve your dental implant’s overall long-term success.

  1. Do not smoke! If you are a smoker, make every effort to stop smoking before your surgery.  Most people know that smoking increases your risk for heart disease.  The reason it increases the risk for heart disease is the same as the reason it affects healing from surgeries: it constricts blood vessels and reduces blood flow.  In heart disease, this gives you higher blood pressure.  In surgery healing, it prevents essential healing cells from reaching the surgical site.  Smokers have a much higher rate of implant failure than non-smokers.
  2. Control your blood sugar! This is especially important for diabetic patients, and everyone an benefit from watching their sugar intake during healing.  Diabetic patients are notoriously bad healers.  Diabetes affects blood vessels the same way that smoking does, so the site of surgery is not getting the proper healing cells.  By controlling your blood sugar as closely as possible, you can improve your body’s natural ability to heal itself.
  3. Fight chronic inflammation! Many people suffer from chronic inflammation due to autoimmune disease.  Before proceeding with any surgical procedures, work with your doctor to control chronic inflammation.  This may involve dietary changes and natural supplements.  Basically, you want your entire body to be as healthy as possible before undergoing any surgeries!
  4. Follow ALL of your post-operative care instructions to the letter. These instructions outline the essential steps you must take to ensure a good healing process.  They are not optional!  This includes taking recommended medications on the schedule prescribed by your doctor.  Many of your medications are to be taken as needed for pain, but others must be taken on a strict timeline in order to fight infection and inflammation.  They improve the healing process!
  5. Make sure to give your implant surgeon every detail of your medical history! As you can see from the items already listed, there are many factors in your medical history that can affect the healing process.  Making sure your surgeon knows all of these details enables him or her to give you the most customized care.  If they do not know all the details about your health, an important factor in the healing process could be overlooked.

What Hinders the Healing Process?

Basically, the answers to this question is just the opposite of the answers to the previous question.

Interested in More Details about Your Specific Healing Process?

Call your nearest Wellness Dental location and schedule a consultation with our dental implant experts.  They can go over your medical history and specific dental implant needs in order to aticipate the details of your healing process.

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