A bone grafting procedure sounds terrifying—even barbaric! Thankfully, this couldn’t be further from the truth. This simple oral surgery can regenerate the structure of your jawbone and prepare you for procedures, like dental implants, that can vastly improve your oral health and quality of life. To prove that this oral surgery isn’t as bad as it may sound, check out this list of what you can expect from the procedure.
1. Bone grafting is a procedure used to fortify your jawbone.
Your dentist will recommend a bone grafting procedure if, for example, you need a dental implant but don’t have enough structure in your jawbone to support it. In most cases, the procedure involves using bone matter from either a cadaver or animal source on the site. This will allow the jawbone to regenerate until it is sturdy enough to support the dental implant. It may take a few months for your jawbone to heal completely prior to this next procedure.
2. You will experience some symptoms like minor discomfort after the procedure.
While you can expect some pain and discomfort after your procedure, it should be relatively minor. In fact, many patients compare it to the pain of having a tooth extracted. You’ll experience minor aches, swelling, and bruising for several days, as well as some possible sinus pressure, but all of your symptoms will be easily managed with pain medications.
3. You’ll need to avoid certain foods during your recovery process.
You may need to run to the grocery store prior to your procedure in order to stock up on the best foods for your recovery process. After your procedure, you’ll need to avoid salty, crunchy, spicy, and citric foods, as these can irritate the procedure site. You’ll also want to avoid hot foods or liquids for the first few hours while your mouth is numb from the anesthetic. Drink plenty of liquids throughout the recovery process, and stick to soft foods for at least 24 hours.
4. Swelling and bleeding are to be expected, but you can minimize it.
It is completely normal to experience some bleeding and swelling after a bone grafting procedure. Thankfully, there are ways to prevent your cheeks from ballooning up too much. For the first two days after your procedure, simply apply ice to the face and mouth at regular intervals. This will help to keep the blood flow down and minimize your bleeding. When you experience bleeding (within the first several hours after the procedure), place some gauze over the surgical site for 20-30 minutes and repeat as needed.
5. Your dentist will prescribe pain medication and antibiotics.
You will either need to fill your prescriptions prior to the surgery, or have a friend or family member pick them up after the procedure to ensure you aren’t exerting too much energy while still under the effects of the anesthetic. Your dentist will prescribe antibiotics, which should be taken as instructed until the regimen is completed. In addition to these antibiotics, you may also receive a prescription pain medication, though over-the-counter pain medications may also be sufficient. It is important to follow your dentist’s instructions carefully so as to properly manage your symptoms after the surgery.
6. Certain activities will need to be put on hold during your recovery period.
Take this time after your surgery as an opportunity to rest and recuperate. Don’t plan any physical activity during these first couple days off, or you could disrupt the healing process. You’ll be able to ease back into exercising slowly after about a week or so. If you’re a smoker, you should also know that you won’t be permitted to smoke for about a week after your procedure. Otherwise, you risk disturbing the blood clot and impacting the healing process. By taking good care of yourself during this time period, you’ll be able to recover quicker and get back to good health in no time!
If you have any questions about the bone grafting procedure, or would like to schedule your oral surgery, call Meadows Dental Care in Palatine today!