How Long Will I Be Out of Work After Oral Surgery?

Initial ConsultationLike any other surgical procedure, oral surgery requires a bit of recovery “down time.” Almost all oral procedures are outpatient, meaning you can go home the same day, but many patients understandably ask, “How long will I be out of work after oral surgery?” The answer to that question is slightly different for everyone and depends on a number of factors, including the scope of the procedure and the type of work you do.

General Recovery Guidelines

Under normal circumstances, most oral surgery patients should be able to resume their normal routine, including their job, within a couple of days after the procedure. We highly recommend that you go home and rest for the first 24 hours. Have someone drive you home, especially if you were given a sedative during the procedure. Avoid strenuous activities or heavy lifting, as these can disrupt clotting in your mouth and cause bleeding. Barring any complications, you should be ready to return to work in about 48 hours to 72 hours.

Factors that May Affect Your Return to Work

On occasion, we may recommend you take a little extra time out of the office (up to 1 week) after your surgery. This can hinge on a number of different factors.

Extent of the Surgery

If you had a single tooth extraction, a root canal procedure or something at that level, chances are your recovery time will be quick, and you’ll feel ready to return to work in 24 hours. However, if you had all four wisdom teeth pulled or began the process for complete dental implants, the trauma of those procedures may require another couple of days of down time to recover.


If there are complications during the surgery that extend your time in the operating room or increase the amount of surgical trauma, you may need additional time to recover. Also, post-surgery complications like excessive bleeding, unusual amounts of pain or infection may affect your ability to perform your job. If you get medical attention for these issues, the extra down time shouldn’t be more than a few days.

The Nature of Your Job

Sometimes, the type of work you do can actually affect your recommended recovery time. If you work in construction, industry or some other job requiring strenuous work or heavy lifting, you may need to wait an additional few days to ensure you don’t open up the surgical wounds. Additionally, you may experience swelling and discoloration in your face for several days after the procedure, so if your job hinges on your physical appearance (e.g., actor or model), you may need to wait a few more days before resuming work.

We are happy to answer any other questions you might have about your recovery times out of work after oral surgery. Give Riverside Oral Facial Surgery a call at (706) 235-5570.