A bone graft may be performed if a person needs restorative dentistry, such as a dental implant, but the jaw bone does not have enough density to support the procedure. This grafting process often uses bone from another place in the body. The bone material may also be made from naturally occurring minerals, such as…
4 Questions to Ask About a Bone Graft
A dental bone graft prepares the jaw for the placement of dental implants, and it can be used to repair bone structures that have been damaged due to issues like gum disease. The procedure improves the structure of the jaw by adding to its bone mass and bone density.
About the dental bone graft
Dentists often recommend bone grafts as a measure to improve the success of dental implant surgery. Less commonly, a dentist might perform a bone graft right after a tooth has been extracted. The goal of adding bone grafts after extraction is to prevent the bone loss that occurs due to missing teeth.
Here is what the procedure looks like:
- Depending on the nature of the bone graft, the dentist will either sedate the patient or use an anesthetic
- The oral surgeon will make a small incision to open gum tissue to expose the patient’s jawbone
- They will place the graft material; sometimes the surgeon will need to secure the donor bone in place
- The surgeon will use sutures to close the gums over the site of the bone graft
In most cases, patients get to go home the same day, with a set of after-care instructions. Patients need to arrange for a ride home because the sedation that comes with bone graft procedures may leave them groggy. Here are a few questions that go over different aspects of a bone graft.
1. How long does the procedure take?
A dental bone graft is a short procedure that should take an hour or two. The duration of the procedure depends on the type of bone graft that the patient gets. Filling a tooth socket is a shorter and simpler process than a bone graft that raises the sinus floor on the upper jaw.
2. How should the patient prepare for the procedure?
The dentist will help with this as they craft a custom treatment plan. They will choose the ideal graft material. They will also choose sedation, anesthetic, and post-procedure antibiotics that suit the patient’s needs.
This process involves the patient providing medical information that details any ongoing health conditions. The patient also needs to provide a full list of any medications that they take.
Lastly, the patient will need to wear loose clothing and little or no jewelry. Patients who need general anesthesia will need to fast for several hours leading up to the bone graft. The patient will also have to make arrangements (food preparation, time off, pain medication, etc.) for their recovery period.
3. Does it hurt?
The procedure is done under anesthetic and/or sedation. This makes the patient’s time in the dental chair pain-free. Dentists will prescribe pain medication to help with soreness and discomfort during the recovery period. They will offer after-care instructions to help the patient as they heal.
Part of these instructions will detail situations that point to a potential complication. The dentist will advise the patient to seek the help of a doctor or dentist should such a situation arise.
4. How long does it take to recover from a bone graft?
It comes down to two factors. The first is how fast a person’s body heals. Some people heal faster than others, depending on their general health and genetics.
The second factor that affects recovery time is the nature of the bone graft. Filling a socket after a tooth extraction usually has a quick recovery. A sinus lift or a bone graft that increases the size of the jaw typically requires a longer recovery time.
Restore your mouth to full functionality
A healthy jaw is a necessary support system for healthy and functional teeth. Our practice boasts a team that oversees countless bone graft and dental implant procedures. Call our office today.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Will I Need a Bone Graft for Dental Implants in Red Bluff, CA.
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