Is It Safe to Drink Alcohol after Dental Implant Surgery? By Joe McIntyre, DDS on April 17, 2020

Man pours draught beer into a large beer steinDental implants restore form and function to your smile by replacing missing tooth roots. Following your dental implant surgery, you can be fitted with a dental crown or implant-supported bridge or denture.

The first few days after oral surgery at our Bridgewater, VA, dental practice are critical for ensuring that you do not experience complications or dental implant failure. Many of our patients have questions about alcohol consumption and how it affects dental implant healing time. This blog post details the potential dangers of consuming alcohol too soon after your surgery.

What Happens If I Consume Alcohol Too Soon after Surgery?

Moderate consumption of alcohol by a healthy adult does not pose a health risk. There are special considerations that need to be considered for anyone recovering from surgery. Immediately after your oral surgery in Bridgewater, you will have a wound that has been sutured and medications that you will be taking to manage pain and reduce your risk of infection.

For these and other reasons, you should abstain from any alcohol consumption for at least 48 hours following surgery. Failure to refrain from consuming alcohol could result in these unwanted risks.

Avascular Necrosis

Avascular Necrosis is a condition in which your jaw bone begins to die. Avascular necrosis is often caused by inhibited blood flow. Consumption of alcohol after your surgery can result in bone loss. Alcohol can inhibit blood flow, which can lead to irreversible damage to the bone tissue that supports your dental implants. For some patients, that may lead to implant failure.

Impaired Healing

Alcohol consumption can impair wound healing. Ethanol diminishes the body’s ability to fight bacterial infections by reducing the number of white blood cells that are available. The presence of alcohol also impairs the production of proteins that aid in the healing process. Finally, intoxication increases the chances that a patient will accidentally injure the treatment site.

Interference with Medications

Mixing alcohol and prescription medications interferes with the effectiveness of certain medications, and it can be downright dangerous for your health. This is why many prescription pills warn against mixing pills and alcohol. Some patients mistakenly believe that alcohol will induce further numbness. Consuming alcohol while taking pain medications or other pills is a dangerous and potentially deadly risk.


Alcohol is a diuretic. Even one or two drinks remove fluids from your blood through your renal system. Even under good circumstances, alcohol can strain your body. Dehydration during recovery from surgery can impede your body’s ability to heal promptly and properly.

When Can I Drink Again after Surgery?

Your safest bet is to cut out drinking for one week after surgery. At the very least, you should absolutely avoid any alcohol consumption for the first two to three days after undergoing dental implant placement and until your dentist advises otherwise. Eliminating alcohol consumption until you have adequately healed will lower your risk of complications and preventable side effects.

Schedule Your Dental Implant Surgery Today

By taking small steps like cutting out alcohol, you can greatly reduce your risk of implant failure or complications. Dental implants have a very high success rate, especially when they are placed under the expert care of one of our experienced dentists. To schedule your dental implant consultation, please contact our office online or by calling (540) 828-2312.

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Dentists at Smiles for Life Dental Care

Smiles for Life Dental Care

The team of highly trained doctors at Smiles for Life wants to help you achieve and maintain a healthy smile for a lifetime. Because we want every patient to have access to the advanced treatments offered at our practice, we accept many insurance and financing options, including: 

  • Medicare 
  • Compassionate Finance™
  • CareCredit®
  • LendingClub®
  • Smile Rewards 

To get started, call our Bridgewater office at (540) 828-2312 or request an appointment online.

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