5 Things to Prepare for Before Getting a Bone Graft for Dental Implants

Globally, oral diseases affect almost 3.5 billion people. Untreated dental caries in people's permanent teeth are the most common health condition.

Many patients need a dental bone graft to replace missing bone in their jaw with bone grafting material. The process encourages regeneration.

As the patient's natural bone grows, it starts absorbing the graft material, which leads to the new, integrated bone.

If you're getting a bone graft, it's essential to prepare for your procedure. Keep reading to learn all about what to expect and 5 ways to prepare for yours!

1. Understand What It Is

Preparing for a dental implant by getting a same-day bone graft is completely normal and is a standard procedure performed at dental offices. There are a few different types of grafts, though. Be prepared by understanding what a bone graft is, what other types there are, and which one you're getting.

An autograft uses bone tissue from the patient's body. Typically, the doctor takes tissue from one's shin, hip, or chin. 

An allograft comes from someone else's body - a human donor. Typically, the graft comes from the cadaver bone. It has undergone treatments to deem it free of host diseases and neutral to immune reactions.

Alloplastic is made from hydroxyapatite, a naturally-occurring bone mineral. Xenografts use portions of animal bones, and these grafts typically come from cows.

Ceramic-based grafts don't come from natural bone but are made from either ceramics or a combination of ceramics and another material.

Patients who have endured bone loss often require a bone graft to support an upcoming restoration or their existing teeth. Some of the events that can lead to bone loss are:

  • Trauma to the jaw
  • Missing teeth
  • Aging
  • Genetic defects
  • Development defects
  • Untreated periodontal disease

Bone grafting is extremely common, and half of implant placement procedures use bone grafts.

2. Prepare for the Process

The best way to prepare for any dental work, particularly jaw surgery, is to know the process. When you know what's coming, it'll help you better understand what to expect and alleviate any stress or nervousness.

The first step is anesthesia. Your periodontist will use a local anesthetic for numbing the surgical site. Depending on whether they take a bone graft from your own body, you might also require IV sedation.

After the proper anesthetic, your doctor will source the bone and remove your tooth simultaneously. Doing both together encourages a faster healing process.

After the extraction and bone sourcing, your periodontist will insert the graft. After thoroughly cleaning the area, they'll make an incision in the gum tissue to expose your bone. Here they'll attach the graft material to the exposed bone.

After the material is in place, the doctor will suture the area closed. Depending on your procedure, they may use cables, wires, pins, or plates. They may even use a titanium screw to hold the tissue together and encourage fusion.

If any bone was taken from your body, they'd stitch that area at this time too.

The recovery process is the final and most crucial piece of your surgery, which is why it's essential to understand and follow your doctor's recovery plan.

3. Set Yourself up for Recovery

For most pre-implant procedures, you can return home the same day. However, you might need a driver if you received general anesthesia or sedation.

Schedule your driver ahead of time so there are no last-minute hiccups in your procedure.

Depending on the procedure, you may need up to 4 to 6 months to heal and be ready for your implant.

Your dental professional will give you instructions for care, and you must follow them closely and accurately to prevent potential complications.

4. Be Prepared for Minor Pain

Bone grafts themselves aren't painful. Typically, they're an outpatient procedure. Patients are usually sedated throughout the process and don't feel a thing. 

You shouldn't feel much pain if any, while you heal either. However, it's normal to feel a little bit of pain at the beginning of the healing process. Remember that if you do experience any discomfort, it'll subside in due time.

Plus, the dental graft prepares your body to enjoy your new beautiful tooth or teeth soon after!

5. Follow Your Dentist’s Instructions

While most people don't experience pain or discomfort during the healing process, it's important that you pay attention to your body and stay in touch with your doctor should you notice any changes.

Your periodontist will likely give you antibiotics to prevent infection, and you must take these in full. Some patients receive pain medication, too.

Your dentist must wait for your bone graft to fuse with the natural bones in your mouth before they can place your implant. Everyone's mouth is different, which is why there's no exact amount of time this can take.

Don't miss any of your regular checkups, as these are an integral part of the bone graft process.

By seeing you regularly, your dentist will be able to track your bone graft fusion and determine when you're ready for your replacement tooth or teeth.

Don't hesitate to ask questions, follow instructions, and notify your dentist of any changes or persistent pain.

Prepare for Your Bone Graft for Peace of Mind

Getting a bone graft is very common in the world of dentistry. Many people need bone grafts to replace lost or deteriorated bone concerning their oral health.

Many people get nervous going to the dentists, though, which is why the more you know, the less anxious you'll be.

Give yourself peace of mind by asking lots of questions and understanding the process in full. Take control of your healing process by following instructions and encouraging a healthy healing process for your mouth.

Are you ready to improve your smile and give yourself the healthy teeth you deserve? Contact us to set up a consultation or with any questions you have!

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