Dental implants are one of the most popular and aesthetically pleasing dental restoration options available. For many years, they were not a realistic option for many patients due to the stringent oral health requirements that were necessary to achieve a successful outcome.
Fortunately, modern implant technology has led to the advent of various procedures to improve your mouth’s suitability for dental implants. One such procedure implemented by our professionals at Madison Family Dental Associates is bone grafting. Bone grafting involves attaching bone fragments to your existing jawbone in order to strengthen and thicken it.
Bone Grafting Process
Unfortunately, many patients have not had a tooth socket graft placed when their teeth were tooth extraction. If they have had multiple teeth in a row extracted, the bone has receded even faster. To place dental implants to retain a denture or bridge on these patients, the dentist must do a form of bone grafting known as horizontal ridge preservation. In this procedure, the dentist opens the gums over the area of missing teeth and flaps the gums back to expose the alveolar ridge. Sometimes a part of the patient’s own bone is removed from a denser area and screwed onto the lateral side of the ridge to hold the gums.
Over the next five to six months, this bone graft will aid the alveolar ridge to increase in both height and width. This thicker bone will be able to support the placement of dental implants which can support a denture or bridge to replace the missing teeth.
Benefits of Bone Grafting
Without bone grafting and proper tooth replacement, a patient’s oral cavity can collapse, causing their jaws to over close. This predicament can lead to TMJ problems, pain, and inefficient chewing. Bone grafting allows the dentist to open the patient’s jaw back up, making them appear more youthful, reducing TMJ problems while allowing them to chew more effectively with dental implant-supported dentures.
What Is the Recovery Time After a Bone Graft?
A bone graft is a surgical procedure and you will need to look after yourself during your recovery. You will require time off work and will need to take things easy. Following the instructions your specialist gives you will ensure you do not suffer from unnecessary pain or complications, such as infection.
Following the procedure, there will be a gauze pad placed over the surgical site, which should be kept in place for as long as your specialist recommends. This will stem the blood, helping a blood clot to form, which provides an important barrier to the wound site in preventing infection. Do not eat solid foods for a day or two and keep the mouth as clean as you can without disturbing any clots. You will also experience bruising and swelling, which may be diminished by applying regular ice packs, particularly in the first 48 hours.
You should avoid any strenuous activity for several days, including lifting and bending. The swelling should have subsided significantly when you have your follow-up appointment seven to 10 days after surgery, but it may take around a month for it to subside completely.
If you have questions about bone grafting, please reach out to us. Call us at 608-274-5970 to find out more about the procedure at Madison Family Dental Associates.