If you’re scheduled to have a bone grafting procedure soon, you might be feeling a little nervous. Never fear! While the name of the procedure doesn’t sound all too inviting, the procedure itself is simple and manageable. When all is said and done, regenerating the structure of your jawbone will significantly improve your oral health—and your quality of life! Read on to learn a bit more about this oral surgery as we answer some of the most common patient questions.
What is a bone grafting procedure?
A bone grafting procedure is used to fortify your jawbone—often prior to getting dental implants—using bone matter from either an animal or a cadaver source. This procedure will allow the jawbone to regenerate and retain more structure. If you’re having this procedure prior to getting dental implants, it is important to be aware that you will need to wait a few months while the jaw heals from this oral surgery before beginning your next one.
How will this procedure affect my diet?
Thankfully, you’ll only need to change your diet for about 24 hours after your procedure to avoid harming the surgical site. Be sure to avoid any foods that could cause irritation—such as salty, spicy, crunchy, or citric foods—and avoid hot foods and liquids while you wait for the anesthetic to wear off. If you stick to soft foods for the day and drink plenty of fluids, your recovery process should go smoothly!
What side effects can I expect after the procedure?
Even though a bone grafting procedure may sound less than appealing, the side effects after the surgery are actually relatively minor. You can expect the same amount of pain as you would after a tooth extraction. There may be some minor pain, swelling, and bruising for the first week or so, but all of these symptoms can be easily managed with medication.
How can I minimize swelling after the procedure?
We know you want to avoid having your cheeks balloon up too much after the surgery, and we’re here to help! First, try alternating ice on and off the face and mouth at regular intervals. This should help minimize the bleeding by slowing down your blood flow. You should also be sure to place gauze over the surgical site at 20-30 minute intervals when you experience any bleeding.
Is there anything I need to know regarding my recovery process?
The key to a fast recovery is rest, rest, and more rest. Don’t try to plan any physical activities for the first week, or you could prolong the healing process. You will also need to avoid smoking during this time period, or you could risk dislodging the blood clot. Follow your doctor’s instructions closely regarding your diet, medication, and rest, and you should be recovered in no time!
If you have more questions for your dentist about the bone grafting procedure, or would like to schedule your appointment, call College Drive Dental Associates in Palos Heights today!