What to Expect During and After a Bone Grafting Procedure

Posted on: August 16, 2018

Bone grafting makes it possible for those with limited bone tissue to get dental implants. The effects of poor oral hygiene go well beyond horrible breath and yellow teeth. If patients do not promptly address oral health concerns such as tooth decay and gum disease, they could lose their teeth. If they spend too long living with missing teeth, they could suffer from bone loss. While bone tissue loss is not reversible, bone grafting can help create a stable and robust foundation for dental implants so that patients can reclaim their smile.

Why is dental bone grafting necessary?

Not everyone needs a bone graft. Bone grafting is only necessary if the jawbone has deteriorated to a point where it cannot support the dental implant adequately. Bone grafting ensures the jawbone is thick, dense and wide enough to support the screw that the dentist places into it during the dental implant procedure.

What to expect during the procedure

The bone grafting procedure typically takes place in a hospital or surgeon’s office, depending on the specific circumstances and the size of the graft the patient needs. First, the dentist takes an X-ray of the patient’s mouth and uses the images to make a model for planning the procedure. At this time, patients should talk to their doctor about the surgery and anesthesia options. Usually, the oral surgeon uses local anesthesia or IV sedation during the surgery.

The oral surgeon starts by removing the bone from another part of the body, such as the hip or the back part of the jaw. If the patient does not want to use their bone, the oral surgeon can use synthetic bone-like grafts.

The surgeon proceeds to make an incision at the graft area before placing the bone piece and anchoring it into place with screws. The surgeon may use a membrane over the integrated bone to make it easier to stitch up the incision.

What to expect after the bone grafting procedure

The patient will experience a bit of discomfort and pain after the bone grafting surgery. Their face may swell up due to the procedure. The person may also notice some bleeding and facial/sinus pressure.

The dentist may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication to help with the pain. He/she may also give the patient an antibiotic to reduce the risk of infection. Applying ice to the area can help reduce the pain, stop the bleeding and keep the swelling down.

To ensure success, patients should drink plenty of fluids and refrain from smoking. They should also avoid any salty, spicy or acidic foods or fruits as these can irritate the wound. Furthermore, patients should avoid mouthwashes, and use a simple saltwater rinse three times a day to cleanse the area.

Individuals who have undergone grafting surgery should not skip any meals, but they should limit their diet to soft foods, smoothies, and soups. It is also vital that they continue maintaining oral hygiene so that the wound heals properly. Patients should avoid strenuous activities that could disturb the surgery site.

Sleeping after surgery

Dentists advise patients to sleep on their backs and to use pillows to raise their heads. Elevating the head reduces the risk of blood pooling at the site of the bone graft, thus preventing inflammation and swelling. If the patient finds it impossible to sleep on his/her back, he/she should avoid sleeping on the side where the surgeon placed the bone graft.

Talk to us today about this great minimally invasive option

Are you due for a bone graft procedure? It sounds a lot scarier than it is. In most cases, it is a minimally invasive surgery with few risks. Talk to one of our oral dentists about your options and follow the tips above to ensure the entire procedure is a success.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Advanced Periodontics & Implant Dentistry, request an appointment in our Odessa dental office here: https://www.westtexasperio.com. Or call us at (432) 538-3318.

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