Having a tooth extracted may not take too much time or cause you any immediate problems; however, this procedure may affect you later in the day. While some people go back to work straight after having a tooth out, this isn't always a good idea. What do you need to think about before deciding when to return to work?
Chances are you won't feel any pain when you leave your dentist's office after an extraction. Your anaesthesia will still be working for a while yet. However, once your anaesthetic wears off, you may be in some pain. While this pain can typically be managed with the analgesics recommended by your dentist in many cases, it may be worse for some people, especially if the extraction was more complex than normal. If your pain is bad, the last place you may want to be is at work.
The main bleeding from an extraction usually stops as your blood forms a clot in the extraction hole. Your dentist should make sure that this process is beginning before you leave the clinic. This clot is an important part of the healing process – if it falls out, the extraction site has no protection and you may develop a dry socket. This can be a very painful problem that needs extra dental treatment.
During the first few hours after your extraction, the blood clot is fragile and can be easily dislodged. If your job involves strenuous activities such as heavy lifting or a lot of walking about, then your increased blood flow puts the clot at risk. If you can't go on lighter duties that don't require any exercise or effort, then it may be worth taking the rest of the day off work to let the clot settle into place.
Bear in mind that you're also likely to have some blood seepage for the first few hours after an extraction even if your clot is in place. Having to dab blood out of your mouth repeatedly isn't particularly pleasant for you; it may also not make the best impression if you have a customer-facing job.
If you aren't sure whether you need to take time off work after having a tooth out, ask your dentist for advice. You may well be advised to rest for the remainder of the day to speed up the recovery process if you can. If you can't take a lot of time off work, it's worth scheduling your extraction for a Friday afternoon so that you have the weekend to recover. If this isn't possible, try to have your tooth out towards the end of a day so that you can rest up overnight without having to worry about work. For more information, contact an expert, like one at Surfers Dental Centre.