Need a Dental Bone Graft? Here’s What to Know

Bone Graft

Our Ann Arbor, MI, dentists take every patient treatment plan seriously. That’s why if all signs are pointing toward a dental bone graft, we’ll act because it can lead to an improvement in your oral health both now and into the future.

Here’s when you might have to undergo bone grafting at the dentist and what you can expect.

Dental Bone Grafts: Why Would I Need One? 

Though it may sound scary, a dental bone graft is nothing to fear. Its purpose is to restore bone where it is needed most in the jaw. For example, if you lost one or more teeth and bone loss has resulted because of that. The bone grafting procedure then works to add support to the area.

We may also advise you to receive a dental bone graft if you:

Before Your Procedure, You Should Know That:

1) There’s Isn’t Just One Type of Dental Bone Graft

Just as there are different types of general bone grafts, there are also various types of dental bone grafts. In particular, there are 4 main types:

  • Socket Preservation
  • Ridge Augmentation
  • Sinus Lift
  • Periodontal Bone Graft

Socket preservation is recommended for patients who have just had a tooth extracted. The bone material is placed in the open socket right soon after the tooth is pulled. For restorative options like implants, a ridge augmentation is performed. This procedure builds up the jawbone with respect to width and volume so it can provide a stable foundation.

As far as the other two types are concerned, a sinus lift may be necessary if the upper back teeth are missing and a periodontal bone graft repairs damage done by gum disease. Each procedure may differ in terms of its details but all dental bone grafts work to restore the jaw and make it stronger.

2) Total Healing Has to Happen Before Moving Forward

Unfortunately, your mouth will need time to heal prior to any dental restorations. That means if you have a bone graft, you can’t just jump right into the dental implant procedure. Our dentists will discuss with you the healing process and what you can expect following a bone graft.

It’s natural for some discomfort, swelling, and bruising to occur afterwards but those side effects should resolve within a few days. You may be prescribed antibiotics and instructed to take pain medication depending on your individual situation.

While it may take months before you’re ready to receive a dental implant, your jaw should begin to feel normal after a couple weeks. Our dentists will want to check in on your progress periodically to make sure your healing is going as planned.

3) It Won’t Be a Painful Process

At Excel Dental, we never want our patients to feel pain during a procedure. When you undergo a dental bone graft, it’s no different. Our dentists will administer a local anesthetic to the area so it remains numb throughout treatment. We also have dental sedation available should you require additional relaxation.

If you notice pain during the procedure or have prolonged discomfort after it’s complete, please do not hesitate to let us know. We are here to accommodate you as the patient and will take the steps necessary to ensure you are comfortable.

4) Caring for Your Mouth Afterward Is Straightforward 

Recovery after a dental bone graft is nothing too involved. Aside from giving yourself time to properly heal, our dentists recommend you steer clear of certain foods, drinks, and intense physical activity i.e., contact sports at least for a few days.

Mainly, your initial recovery period should include: 

  • Applying an ice pack to your cheek to help pain or swelling
  • Choosing soft or bland foods (nothing hard, crunchy, or spicy)
  • Avoiding hot liquids like soup or coffee (lukewarm is better)
  • Sleeping slightly elevated during the first 1-2 nights to prevent blood collecting at the incision site

Call Our Office Today

Don’t let fear get in the way of asking our dentists in Ann Arbor, MI, about a possible upcoming dental bone graft. Call Excel Dental today at (734) 929-9999 to request an appointment and start the discussion.