While dental implants are an excellent option for treating tooth loss, not all patients are good candidates. If you’ve been missing teeth for a while, you’ll naturally lose bone density along the dental arch. Bone grafting is performed to combat bone loss and allow patients to get dental implants. Dr. Frank Avason has helped numerous patients in and around the Denver and Charlotte, NC area by performing this procedure.
After the surgery, patients need to follow instructions closely for proper healing. Let’s briefly go over the recovery process for bone grafting surgery. We’ll provide more detailed instructions during your consultation at our practice.
What to Expect After Bone Grafting Surgery
Immediately after bone grafting surgery, patients can expect to feel groggy and tired as the effects of the anesthetic are wearing off. It’s important that patients have a loved one present to help them get home and make sure they’re okay.
A little bit of gauze will be in place over the operated portion of the dental arch. Keep that in place for at least the next half an hour to prevent excessive bleeding.
Avoid Smoking and Tobacco Products
Smoking and the use of chewing tobacco can lead to an increased risk of infection. Tobacco products also slow down the healing process. Be sure to avoid the use of tobacco products in the weeks prior to your oral surgery and in the weeks after bone grafting until you are completely healed.
Tips for Managing Pain and Swelling
In order to manage pain and discomfort after bone grafting, be sure to use prescription pain killers and medication as directed. We also advise patients to use over-the-counter medication if prescription-strength drugs are not required.
To deal with swelling, a cold compress can be placed against the side of the face where bone grafting was performed. Leave the ice pack on for about 20 minutes and then take it off for about 20 minutes before applying it again. Repeat as needed.
Your Diet After Bone Grafting Surgery
Patients should eat soft foods that are easy to ingest and to hydrate regularly. Cold, cool, and lukewarm foods are ideal. Some good food items while recovering include:
- Protein shakes
- Meal replacement shakes
- Ice cream
In the first days after surgery, patients should avoid any hot foods as these can increase post-op bleeding. It’s also a good idea to avoid any foods with tiny seeds or that create crumbs.
Do NOT Use Drinking Straws
Even though you’ll be drinking a lot of fluids, make sure to avoid the use of a drinking straw in the first week after bone grafting. The suction in your mouth can undo sutures and even have a negative impact on the condition of the bone graft itself.
Proper Oral Hygiene
Keeping your mouth clean after oral surgery is essential. Patients should brush and floss gently around the operated area. Be sure to use a manual toothbrush rather than an electric toothbrush or water flosser/oral irrigator. The vibrations from these kinds of oral hygiene implements can have a negative impact on surgical outcomes.
Patients will be given an antiseptic rinse to use in order to avoid infection and keep the mouth sanitary during healing. Be sure to use this mouthwash as instructed.
Attend Follow-Up Visits as Scheduled
Bone grafting patients will have multiple follow-up visits with their dentist and oral surgeon to monitor their healing progress. Be sure to attend all of these visits as scheduled.
If any issues arise between follow-up visits, bring them to the attention of your oral surgeon as soon as possible.
Contact Avason Family Dentistry
For more information about bone grafting and why it may be the right option for you and your needs, be sure to contact our doctors, Dr. Frank Avason, Dr. Alyssa Wolff, and Dr. Mason Pirtle, at our office in Denver, NC. You can reach our practice by phone at (704) 820-9797 or schedule online!