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What to Ask Your Oral Surgeon About a Bone Grafting Procedure
Bone grafting is a surgical procedure that involves rebuilding or repairing damaged or diseased bones. Bone grafts have many uses, but they are primarily used in dentistry to prepare patients for implant placement or to repair tissues damaged by periodontal disease or other dental issues.
The healing process often starts the moment bone tissues are damaged. Bone tissues self-repair as long as there is no significant loss of tissues. Bone grafting procedures often involve a surgeon inserting new bone tissues into areas where more bone density is needed or to promote healing.
Bone grafts typically involve sedating patients or using local anesthetics to numb the areas being worked on. Incisions are made into the patient’s gum tissues, and grafting materials are placed and secured where needed before sutures are used to close the site of the procedure.
Questions to ask our oral surgeon about bone grafting
Some of the questions patients who need bone grafts should ask their dentist during a consultation include:
1. How long do bone grafting procedures take?
Dental bone grafts are typically completed in about one or two hours. How long each patient’s treatment takes varies based on factors like the type of grafting procedure being performed. For example, it takes less time to fill up a tooth socket with bone grafts than it takes to raise the floor of a patient’s sinus with bone grafts.
2. What can I do to prepare for the procedure?
Some of the things patients can do to prepare for bone grafts include providing all medical information required by the dentist and details of any ongoing health conditions they have. Patients should also provide information on any medications or supplements they currently take. The dentist will take care of crafting a customized treatment plan, choosing the ideal graft material, and determining if local anesthetics or sedatives are used.
Little things patients can do to make the procedure go smoother include wearing loose-fitting, comfortable clothes and not wearing jewelry. Patients who will be put under general anesthesia should fast for several hours leading up to their procedure. Patients should also make preparations for meals and time off work during the recovery period.
3. Do bone grafts hurt?
Bone grafting procedures involve administering local or general anesthetics so patients don’t feel any pain during their procedures. Pain medication is typically prescribed after the procedure to help with any discomfort and soreness they experience. Patients will also be given aftercare instructions to help the recovery process.
4. How long does recovery take after the procedure?
Two main factors determine how long the recovery process takes for each patient: the type of graft performed and how fast the patient heals. Some patients heal faster than others due to factors like their genetics and current health, while others heal slower due to health issues like diabetes or using tobacco products.
The type of procedure performed also affects recovery times since some treatments are more extensive than others. For example, filling up a socket after a tooth has been extracted takes less time to heal than an extensive bone graft that increases the size of a patient's jaw.
5. How do bone grafts affect getting implants?
Bone grafts are often recommended for people who lack the required thickness to hold implants in their jawbone. This allows people who would be otherwise ineligible to get implants to go ahead with the procedure.
Bone grafts can take up to four months to heal, and dentists often expect patients to be fully healed before continuing with implants. In some cases, implants are placed on the same day bone grafting treatments are performed.
6. What types of materials are used for bone grafts?
Dental bone grafts are typically done with autograft materials these days. Donor bone tissues are removed from the patient’s bone tissues, typically their jawbone. In rare cases, donor material might be harvested from other parts of the body, like the patient’s hip. While autografts are the gold standard for dental bone grafting procedures, other materials like synthetic bone tissues and xenografts are sometimes used.
Bone grafts can help to restore your mouth to full functionality
A healthy jaw helps to support healthy and functional teeth, and our oral surgeon has years of experience performing bone grafts to address tissue breakdown in the jaw and other dental problems. Bone tissues in the jaw deteriorate when teeth are lost, and a bone graft might be what you need to restore your jaw. Call or stop by our Santa Maria clinic to set up an appointment with our oral surgeon.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Will I Need a Bone Graft for Dental Implants in Santa Maria, CA.
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