What is a dental bone graft?
Dentists can use bone from other parts of your body to build up your jaw where there has been a lot of damage to the bones. There are three ways to get the bone graft material: You can get it from your own body (autogenous), a human tissue bank (allograft), or an animal tissue bank (xenograft). In some cases, bone graft materials may be made of synthetic materials (alloplastic).
Who needs a dental bone graft?
In most cases, someone who has lost a lot of bone in their jaw will need a dental bone graft to help them. Doing this may be a good idea if you are:
- having a tooth extracted
- plan on getting a dental implant
- plan on getting dentures
- having bone loss because of periodontal or gum disease
What happens before a dental bone graft procedure?
A dentist will examine your mouth, gums, and jaw to ensure that your teeth and gums are in good health. To determine how much bone has been lost, the dentist will use dental X-rays or scans. The next step is for your dentist to go over your treatment options with you and devise a plan that meets your needs.
What happens during a dental bone graft surgery?
To start, your dentist will make a cut in your gums so that they can see the jawbone. After they clean and disinfect the area, they add the bone graft material to fill in the hole and repair it. Closing the wound and moving gum tissue with stitches is done last so that the wound and gum tissue are both healed adequately.
Normally, patients are not put to sleep during a dental bone graft. Your dentist will likely apply local anesthesia to numb any pain you would feel during the procedure. Many of our patients report feeling little to no pain during a bone graft surgery thanks to the anesthesia.
What happens after dental bone graft surgery?
If you have a dental bone graft, you may feel some pain and swelling. These are common side effects, but they should go away in a few days, so don't worry too much about them. Pain relievers and antibiotics can be used to treat symptoms, and your dentist may also give you antibiotics to treat your teeth. Be diligent in taking any medications your dentist prescribes as directed.
How long does it take to fully recover?
A dental bone graft can take anywhere from a few days to a few months to heal, depending on the type of graft and where it is placed. As soon as a week or two passes, you should start to feel better, but full dental healing can take between three and nine months.