Everything You Need to Know About a Dental Bone Graft
When you have missing teeth, you might be at risk of bone degradation. Bone loss makes your jawbone weak and can’t support a dental implant when replacing a missing tooth.
To check the condition of your jawbone, your dentist or oral surgeon might recommend dental x-rays. If you have signs of bone loss, the dentist might recommend a bone graft. Your dentist or oral surgeon will perform the bone graft before the dental implant procedure.
When Is a Dental Bone Graft Necessary?
A bone graft is necessary when you don’t have sufficient bone to support your teeth, dental implant, and oral functionalities. Some of the factors that might compel you to seek dental bone grafting services include:
- Gum disease
- Development defects on your jawbone
- Facial injury or trauma
- Missing teeth
Anybody with missing teeth might need a bone graft before getting a dental implant. However, your dentist will check your jawbone to determine if you need a bone graft. Sometimes, you might need a bone graft even when getting a dental implant immediately after losing your tooth.
However, most people don’t seek dental implant surgery immediately after losing a tooth. Either way, bone loss occurs gradually and calls for bone graft surgery.
What Do Dental Bone Grafts Entail?
There are different types of bone grafts, depending on the location of the lost tooth and the severity of the bone loss.
One of the types of dental bone grafts is a socket graft. A socket graft prevents the occurrence of alveolar atrophy. During a socket graft, your oral surgeon places a bone from a human donor right into the socket. Such a dental bone graft can help prevent the socket from collapsing. After a socket graft, you might need 4-6 months to get a dental implant.
Another type of bone graft is a lateral ridge preservation graft. When getting a lateral ridge preservation graft, your dentist or oral surgeon will place a donor bone on your jawbone. The graft will increase the width of your jaw bone to accommodate a dental implant.
The last type of bone graft is a block bone graft. During a block bone graft procedure, the dentist will harvest small blocks of grafts from the back of your jaw. The dentist will then use small titanium screws to hold your bone graft in place. Your dentist might recommend such a bone grafting option if your jaw has large defects on your jawbone.
After a bone graft, your dentist might recommend a sinus lift procedure. During a sinus lift, your dentist will add an equine bone to the donor one to expand the graft. However, a sinus lift might be necessary for your upper jaw to hold a dental implant.
Is a Bone Graft Painful?
Do you need a bone graft and wondering if the procedure is painful? Before cutting through your gums and jaw, your oral surgeon will administer local anesthesia on the site of treatment. Depending on the length of the bone graft procedure, your dentist might recommend general anesthesia. Therefore, the bone graft procedure is not painful.
However, you might experience mild pain when the anesthesia wears off.
Recovery from Bone Graft Surgery
Recovery after a bone graft depends on your efforts. However, after bone grafting in Fort Valley, our dentist might recommend the following recovery tips:
- Avoid rinsing your mouth for the first 24 hours to avoid breaking the blood clots
- Eat soft foods to avoid irritating the treatment site
- Get plenty of rest, especially the first days after bone grafting
- Rinse your mouth with warm saline water or antiseptic mouthwash to prevent infections
- Practice your oral hygiene routine while avoiding the treated site
Bone Grafting Side Effects
Bone grafting is a safe procedure. However, you might experience some side effects. Some of the side effects associated with bone grafting include:
- Negative reaction to anesthesia during the procedure
- Pain and swelling around the treatment site
- Infection in the site of treatment and bleeding
- The body might reject the bone graft
- Reabsorption of the bone graft by the body
To reduce such risks, at Whitaker Family Dentistry, we recommend a consultation. During the consultation, the dentist will identify potential risks and develop a suitable treatment plan.