If you’re having a tooth extracted or are planning on getting dental implants, you might need a bone graft to ensure that there’s a sufficient level of healthy bone in your jaw. As with most kinds of oral surgery, you can expect to need a few days to recover after the procedure. The following post can give you an idea of what to expect during bone graft recovery and what you can do to speed up the healing process.
The Dental Bone Graft Procedure
A dental bone graft involves taking tissue from elsewhere in your body (or from a donor) and applying it to the parts of the jaw where there’s not enough bone. Your dentist or oral surgeon will need to make small incisions in your gums to access the jawbone. Your mouth will be numbed so that you don’t experience any pain, and we can offer dental sedation to keep you as comfortable as possible. Once the procedure is complete, your gums will be sutured shut, and you’ll be given the necessary aftercare instructions.
What Normally Happens During Bone Graft Recovery
It’s normal to notice pain, swelling, and bruising in the days following a bone graft. These symptoms should normally diminish on their own over time. Many people are able to return to work after one or two days, although others might need a full week to recover before they can resume their regular activities. Keep in mind that while your mouth should feel normal again after just a few weeks, it normally takes months for the grafting material to be fully integrated into the jaw.
Tips for Bone Graft Recovery
There are several steps you can take to make sure that the healing process stays on track:
- Take any prescribed medications as directed. You can also use an ice pack to reduce pain and swelling.
- Avoid spitting or drinking through a straw. These actions can dislodge the protective blood clot from the surgical site, which may result in pain and delayed healing.
- Plan on eating only soft and liquid foods for a while. You can return to a regular diet once your mouth starts feeling better again.
- Practice good oral hygiene by rinsing with salt water; this helps get rid of harmful bacteria that can cause an infection. You can start brushing the area around the grafting site as soon as your dentist says that it’s okay.
Once you know what you can expect after a bone graft, you can make the proper preparations for a speedy recovery. After a successful healing process, you’ll be able to focus on the next steps for restoring your smile, whether it’s dental implant placement or another kind of procedure.
About the Author
Dr. John Russo was born in Orlando, and he’s been bringing high-quality dental care to his friends and neighbors for over 25 years. He has undergone the Comprehensive Interdisciplinary Implant Continuum with the Implant Educators University of Florida College of Dentistry. He can perform the entire dental implant process in-house at his Orlando practice. To learn more about bone grafting and why it might be the right choice for your smile, visit his website or call (407) 843-2112.