Is Dental Bone Grafting a Painful or Long Procedure?

Is Dental Bone Grafting a Painful or Long Procedure?

Aug 03, 2022

Most patients come across the term bone grafting when getting a dental implant. Often, a healthy jawbone is essential to support a dental implant sufficiently. Your jawbone can deteriorate or weaken due to old age, tooth loss, dental trauma, jawbone defects, tooth decay, and advanced gum disease.

Bone grafting repairs and rebuilds weakened, diseased, and insufficient jawbone. Since the procedure involves surgical intervention, most patients tend to worry or get scared about what to expect. After all, bone grafting surgery does tend to sound scary!

Fortunately, bone grafting is a common and straightforward treatment. The procedure is often quick, and you’ll be sedated to keep you pain-free and relaxed. Let’s learn more about bone grafting and what you can expect during your treatment.

What is Bone Grafting?

A bone graft is a surgical procedure of repairing and rebuilding damaged or insufficient jawbone through transplantation of new bone tissues. Adding new bone tissue to the unhealthy jawbone facilitates new bone growth and strength. Contact our Westwood dentist for bone grafting in Westwood, MA.

Who Needs Bone Grafting?

You might need bone grafting for several reasons, including:

  • Dental implants. Your dentist might recommend bone grafting if you don’t have sufficient jawbone. Bone grafts provide a solid base to support a dental implant successfully.
  • Tooth loss. The underlying jawbone tends to deteriorate over time when you lose a tooth due to a lack of chewing activity. Bone grafting may be needed to rebuild the lost bone.
  • Gum disease. Advanced gum disease can lead to jawbone damage. You may need bone grafting surgery to restore the health of your jawbone.
  • Facial muscles. Your facial muscles can collapse due to a weakened jawbone. It can cause facial sagging, wrinkles, and premature aging.

The bone graft material is often obtained from several sources, including:

  • Autografts. The graft material is obtained from another part of your body, such as the jaw or hip.
  • Allografts. The graft material is obtained from a human donor.
  • The graft material is obtained from animal bone from cows, pigs, or coral.
  • The graft material contains synthetic materials like calcium phosphate and calcium sodium phosphosilicate (bioglass).

Bone Grafting Procedure

If you’re curious about what to expect during your bone graft surgery, here is a typical procedure:

  • The dentist or oral surgeon begins by numbing you to keep you painless and comfortable throughout the procedure.
  • Next, they clean the area thoroughly to prepare it for the surgery.
  • The surgeon then makes an incision through the gums to access the bone that requires the graft.
  • The surgeon then places the graft material between two sections of the unhealthy jawbone. They secure the graft with a membrane, dissolvable adhesive, or special screws.
  • Lastly, the dentist will sew the area to facilitate quick healing.

How painful or long is a dental bone graft?

The length of the procedure may depend on several factors like the type of grafting procedure and the complexity of the surgery. On average, the surgery takes about 45 – 90 minutes.

As far as pain is concerned, you don’t have to worry because you’ll be under sedation. However, once the sedation wears off, you can expect to experience minor side effects bleeding, pain, and swelling. Fortunately, your surgeon will prescribe some medication to alleviate the symptoms.

If they obtained the bone grafting material from your body, the procedure and recovery might be longer since you have undergone two surgeries. The minor side effects fade away within a few weeks. The repaired bone can take about 3 – 6 months to heal completely.

Bone Grafting Surgery Aftercare

Following a bone grafting surgery, use these tips to promote faster healing and recovery:

  • Bite on the gauze to control bleeding.
  • Take the prescribed medications as directed by your surgeon.
  • Apply ice packs to manage pain and swelling.
  • Take a soft diet for the next few days.
  • Keep your head elevated when sleeping.
  • Brush and floss gently while avoiding the surgical area.
  • Use warm salt water rinses.
  • Avoid hot, hard, spicy, or crunchy food items.
  • Rest adequately and avoid strenuous physical activities.
  • Wear a mouthguard to protect your mouth from dental trauma.
  • Notify your dentist if symptoms worsen or persist.
  • Schedule regular oral checkups and cleanings.

Schedule An Appointment

Contact Westwood Dental Group to book your appointment for more information about bone grafting surgery.

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