Mar 11, 2023

How long does a bone graft take to heal?

A bone graft is a procedure done by dentists if they think your jawbone isn’t thick enough to support a dental implant. But how long does recovery last? The answer to the question depends on the type of graft you are having. The healing may take three to four months if you have a socket preservation graft. A sinus augmentation will take four to nine months, while a ridge augmentation may take about six months or more to heal. Additionally, at Family Dental Care-Crestwood, the dentist will tell you how long your bone graft will take to heal.

Bone Grafting Explained

Most patients will assume that bone grafting only requires the dentist to remove a bone from a part of your mouth and put it in another part. However, this process doesn’t generally require a human bone and can be done using other biocompatible materials. The bone graft can be obtained from sources such as:

  • Allograft. This type of graft is harvested from a donor or a cadaver. In this case, no bone marrow is present, and there are low chances of the body rejecting the graft.
  • Synthetic Bone Graft. This is a synthetic bone created for that specific location.
  • Autograft. The bone is harvested from another part of your body, such as the pelvis, rib, or wrist. This process will require several surgeries.
However, the dentist will have to make sure other bones that are not human are safe before being used. The procedure is reasonably comfortable since the dentist will use dental sedation.

Recovering from Bone Grafting

The period your bone graft surgery will take to heal will be determined by many factors, including age, the type of surgery, and physical and overall health. Generally, the recovery can last from two weeks to a year. However, the recovery will also depend on how well you take care of your oral and overall health.

During this recovery period, your new bone tissue begins to fuse to your existing jawbone to support your dental implants. The process is slow, and in rare cases, it can be complicated if your body rejects the new bone tissue. For patients whose goal was to have a dental implant, they will be ready for them about four to six months post the graft surgery.

During the healing process, the patient may take antibiotics and over-the-counter painkillers prescribed by your dentist in 60418.

Post-Grafting Aftercare Tips

Here are instructions on how to take care of your bone graft after the surgery.

  • Refer to the medication information sheets for any prescription your dentists give and report if you get a reaction from them.
  • Manage the bleeding after surgery by placing gauze on the site until the bleeding stops. Visit the dentist near you immediately if the bleeding becomes excessive.
  • Reduce swelling by applying an icepack on your face at intervals of twenty minutes on and off. If you had the surgery on both sides, alternate the side every twenty minutes. Don’t exceed twenty minutes with the ice pack on your skin to avoid tissue injury. It’s normal for the swelling to last for a maximum of two days. Don’t exceed the icing for beyond the first 24 hours.
  • Do not use orthodontic retainers post-surgery if you have any. You can resume them after three days if comfort allows.
  • For oral hygiene, gently rinse your mouth using salty warm water for the first three days. Rinse your mouth three times a day, morning, after meals, and before bed. Don’t use over-the-counter mouthwashes to rinse your mouth unless prescribed by the dentist, as they may irritate the slow healing site. Resume your brushing teeth the same day after the procedure but be careful to avoid the area. It’s not unusual to see traces of blood on the brush.
  • Limit your physical activities after the procedure for at least three to five days. Avoid smoking tobacco and alcoholic products. They could delay your healing process and increase post-operative pain.
  • Immediately after surgery, if hungry, start with something like a milkshake, soup, or smoothie. Limit your diet to cool soft foods on the first day. However, if your mouth is still numb from sedation, avoid chewing or taking too hot foods and liquids to prevent burning the area. Suggested soft foods include eggs, pancakes with syrup, or pasta like spaghetti.
Don’t forget to do follow-up visits if necessary and appointments scheduled for you. Visit us for bone grafting in Crestwood for any emergency post-operative appointments.

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