Are you thinking about having a long-lasting artificial tooth? Perhaps you may want to consider having dental implants. Most frequently, your dentist will place these implants on your jawbones for optimal protection and support. Bone grafts play a considerable role in this process and help restore your jawbone’s strength. Depending on the procedure, dental bone grafting recovery can vary from days to weeks. This article will discuss a few aftercare tips and tricks to help with your healing process.
Dental Implants and Bone Grafts
For dental implants to last longer, they must have a solid structure that will serve as their foundation. Modern implants require direct insertion of the replacement tooth into your jawbones like that of a natural tooth. However, several factors like poor oral health and bone loss can lead your jaw to become weaker and thinner. Your dentist may use bone grafts to strengthen these weak bones allowing them to make deep-rooted implants.
Bone Grafting Procedures
To restore your jawbones’ natural strength from bone loss, your dentist may perform several grafting techniques. This procedure uses bones to create a scaffold that helps grow newer bones in areas where there are weaker bones. There are three different types of bone grafts that your dentist may require. These are:
Autogenous bone grafts
A replacement bone material helps in the repair process. Your dentist may use bones from the various sites in your body and transplant them into your jawbones. If a little bone is necessary, it can be taken locally in your mouth. However, it is also possible for the material to come from your face and shins. This technique is the safest to encourage the growth of new bones necessary to support your dental implants.
If there are not enough good bones in your body, your dentist may use a synthetic bone. These false bones are either artificially grown from the lab or may come from a cadaver’s bone. It is a proven and safe procedure yet remains to be a controversial one. Of course, it will always be the best choice to use bone material that comes from yours. Your body will know its own home.
These are bone grafts that come from cow bones. If you are uncomfortable with having your bone taken from your body, it is a great option to use cow bones. The latest innovations confirm that your body willingly accepts this bovine bone and will perfectly regenerate with it.
Expectations After Bone Grafting Surgery
These are some events that you might encounter immediately after surgery:
- You will receive post-surgery care procedures and protocols from your dental care provider. They will discuss what else you should expect and know when to ask for an emergency consultation.
- After your surgery, your clinician will place gauze pads over the area where the bone graft is present. This process prevents bleeding and reduces the opportunity for a blood clot to form.
- Aside from the feeling of sensitivity, you can also expect some numbness over your mouth. These are only temporary and should be gone after some time.
- A slight shift in body temperature is also possible. If the elevation of body temperature persists, notify your dentist immediately for medical attention.
Phases of Dental Bone Grafting Recovery
Bone regeneration happens following the grafting procedure; learn more here. There are two phases of dental bone grafting recovery from initial recovery to its final healing stage.
First Phase: Initial Recovery
On the first day of your recovery, your dentist will not allow you to have solid foods. You also cannot have acidic drinks right away. Bone grafting surgery will expose your jaw areas and make them more sensitive and prone to bleeding and infections. Fortunately, there are several soft and low-fat food and beverages that you can rely on during your teeth’ time off. Soups and smoothies are going to be your buddies throughout your healing process.
Important Note: Even though you can have smoothies, shakes, and the likes, you must refrain from using a straw. Sucking can cause an excessive strain on your jaws and causes a delay in your healing process.
Second Phase: Healing Stage
After a few weeks of recovery, you can slowly ease into enjoying solid food again. However, it is necessary to visit your dentist first and ask for permission if this is possible.
Aftercare Guide and Tips
Aside from pain relievers, your doctor will also require you to take antibiotics to prevent infections. It is essential to complete your course of antibiotics as your doctor prescribes to avoid complications. However, if you happen to experience an unusual reaction to your medication, talk to your dentist immediately.
Swelling and Pain Management
The Bondi Dental Clinic reassures it is normal to experience swelling after your surgery. Placing an ice pack on the side where the surgery took place will help lessen the inflammation. The swelling should subside after a few days but can take longer depending on your body’s healing ability. Because bone grafting surgery is an invasive process, it is normal to experience pain. Your dentist will prescribe medications that can help manage the pain. It would help if you took these pain relievers once your anesthesia wears off.
Sutures and Stitches
There are bone grafting procedures that require the placing of sutures in the grafting area. Your surgeon will either take care of its removal or allow it to dissolve on its own.
Your dentist will only allow you to practice your regular oral hygiene routines after the first phase of healing. It would help if you brushed your teeth and floss in a gentle manner around the surgical site. It is not advisable to use mechanical toothbrushes unless you can control their intensity.
Intense physical activities can slow down your healing process. It would be best to reduce your activities for the first few days and resume only once your body allows you.