Inability to work after surgical removal of mandibular third molars

Acta Odontol Scand. 1997 Jan;55(1):64-9. doi: 10.3109/00016359709091944.


Inability to work after mandibular third-molar surgery was studied in 201 patients operated on in a specialist clinic. Mean indicated inability to work was 1.07 days; 95% confidence interval, 0.91-1.23 days; range, 0-6 days. Eighty-six (43%) patients did not indicate any reduction in working ability. Duration of operation more than 14 min, heavy smoking (> 19 cigarettes/day), and female sex were associated with prolonged inability to work. Self-administered analgesic consumption and pain scores over the first postoperative week showed positive correlations with inability to work: r = 0.44 and 0.41, respectively. Other indicators of the normal postoperative reaction were to a lesser extent associated with reduced ability to work. Total sick-leave cost in Norway associated with surgical third-molar removals, adjusted for age-related income, employment rate, treatment rate, and provider of treatment, was 46.4 million NOK per year.

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Employment
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Male
  • Mandible
  • Middle Aged
  • Molar, Third / surgery*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain, Postoperative / prevention & control
  • Self Administration
  • Sex Factors
  • Sick Leave / economics
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Time Factors
  • Tooth Extraction*
  • Work


  • Analgesics