Bone grafting may sound like an intimidating procedure but it’s not as scary as it sounds. Think of your bones as a living, moving, and fluid thing (because they are). Your body is constantly changing and your bones are no exception!
When it comes to the bones that are part of your mouth’s structure the constant changing and movement can either be a positive process or one that causes damage and discomfort. An example of a good result of this adaptability of bone is how an orthodontist can gradually move your teeth with the aid of braces for a beautiful smile! On the other hand, your bones can negatively move out of position or experience loss after losing a tooth or as a result of gum disease.
Bone loss in the structure of the jaw that supports your teeth can be restored by an experienced oral surgeon through a procedure called a bone graft. Although a bone graft can be done a few different ways such as removing a section of bone from another part of the body, an oral surgeon typically does the oral bone graft procedure through the use of bone mineral material from a bone bank. This material is then placed into the area of your jaw or mouth that requires more support. Bone graft material acts like a scaffold and helps your body grow new and stronger bone.
Once the bone graft has been completed, you’ll need to wait a few months for the bone graft to ‘take’ or create enough new bone and grow into a strong foundation stable enough for the implant to be successful.
Benefits of Bone Grafting
- Rebuilds bone structure
- Creates a stable foundation for dental implants
- Can prevent further bone loss
- Safe and effective for most patients
- Preserves facial structure
- Improves candidacy for dental implants
Will it hurt?
Thanks to modern advancements in anesthesia, including sedation dentistry, patients are comfortable during the procedure.
During the actual procedure, you initially will have the area numbed using local anesthesia such as lidocaine so you shouldn’t feel anything. The recovery process may involve a little discomfort, but you will receive medication and homecare instructions to help alleviate the pain, prevent infection, and control the swelling. Many of our patients compare the experience to recovering from a root canal or tooth extraction. But at the end of the day, dental bone grafting is more about the healing process than the procedure itself. And since the healing your body is doing is internal, it’s not nearly as painful as people might think.
Since you may need to eat especially soft foods for a couple of days following surgery, your oral surgeon’s staff will provide you with diet suggestions such as mushy food like rice, yogurt, and soups as your mouth recovers from the dental bone graft. Following homecare instructions and diet suggestions are essential for optimal healing.
The goal of a bone graft at the oral surgeon is to create a strong dental structure for your new dental implants. Thanks to bone grafting, your worries about replacing lost teeth can be alleviated. This popular form of dental reconstruction is a safe and effective way to repair your smile. For more information about bone grafting, call for a consultation.