Bone is constantly changing by getting new bone cells and removing the old cells and the jawbone is not an exception. When you lose teeth, the jaw bone starts disintegrating because it is exposed. When you start losing teeth because of the age due to accidents or illness, it is advisable you get artificial teeth to protect the jaw bone. The facial appearance is also affected by the absence of teeth. Replacing the lost teeth will improve your physical appearance.
Bone grafting is one of the minor surgical procedures in dentistry. The grafting material has a bone mineral that will stimulate the growth of a new bone. The grafting material can be taken from the patient’s body, or from a human or animal donor. The grafting material is thoroughly treated and sterilized in the laboratory to make it safe. The material can also be synthetic. The grafting material is induced in the jawbone using a syringe. Then it is covered with a collagen membrane to allow the material to build a new bone.
Importance of Bone Graft in Dentistry
In the event of severe periodontal diseases, the bone disintegrates and you are at risk of losing teeth. To save the natural teeth, the bone around the teeth can be regenerated through grafting to provide more support to the teeth. Jaw bone support is important when it comes to holding the teeth. A strong bone will keep the teeth in place.
After removing a tooth, the grafting material is induced in the tooth socket. This is done to prepare the tooth socket for a dental implant. This is to ensure that the dental implant is done successfully and will be held firmly on the jawbone.
for a successful dental implant, the implant requires sufficient bone volume. If the dentist realizes that your jaw bone is not strong enough to hold the tooth, bone grafting will be done. The grafting stimulates the growth of a new jaw bone that will support the implant.
What to Expect During Bone Grafting
Bone grafting is done under local anesthesia and sedatives. They aim at making you relax and go through the grafting comfortably since the anesthesia numb the nerves. The dentist will make a small incision on the gum tissue to insert the grafting material.
After the surgery, you will feel slight pain. Your dentist will give you painkillers to manage pain and antibiotics to prevent infections. You will feel uncomfortable after the minor surgery in the first two days. Within the first few months, the body will grow a new bone that will replace the graft making the jaw bone stronger.
What to eat after the Bone Graft Procedure
You will be able to eat after the bone grafting procedure. However, the diet will be limited to warm soft foods and a cold diet. Hot and hard foods are discouraged to allow the grafting aftermath to heal. Foods that are recommended are those that need no chewing. Such foods include smoothies, milkshakes, juices, mashed potatoes, pudding, and blended soups.
Diet will be modified as healing continues. It starts from soups to eating fruits, scrambled eggs, and cooked cereals.
- After going through a bone graft surgery, you are advised to sleep on your back and elevate the head with a pillow. This will help to reduce inflammation and reduce the accumulation of blood in the grafted area. If you are unable to sleep on your back, do not sleep on the side where the bone grafting has been done.
- Avoid rigorous activities within the first 3 days of the bone grafting. Rigorous activities can open the stitches and disrupt the positioning of the graft material. Resume your normal activities slowly.
For the bone to regenerate to a new bone and to heal completely, it will take 6 months. If it was for the purpose of dental implants, the dentist will insert an implant after 6 months. During the healing period, you will need to take a good diet and high hygiene care. You will visit your dentist to check the healing process and minimize any bacterial infection. Care after the bone grafting will determine its success.