If you’ve recently undergone a tooth extraction, you’re probably thinking about how you and your dentist are going to replace that lost tooth! But before that can happen, you might need to undergo a dental bone graft. But what is this process and why is it sometimes necessary after having a tooth extracted? Keep reading to learn more from your dentist in Metairie about the dental bone grafting process and some tips for ensuring a smooth and uninterrupted recovery.
What Is a Dental Bone Graft?
A dental bone grafting procedure involves adding new bone matter to a particular spot in the mouth; in the case of a tooth extraction, the bone is added into the socket in which the tooth was removed. This bone material can either be artificial and safely harvested from cadavers, or it can be obtained from another part of the patient’s body. The purpose of this process is to stimulate bone growth in the area of the extraction—this process is called osteoconduction.
Why Is a Dental Bone Graft Sometimes Necessary After Tooth Extraction?
A dental bone graft isn’t always necessary after a tooth extraction, but there are many benefits to receiving one—especially if the goal is to replace the extracted tooth. If your dentist has recommended dental implants to replace your missing teeth, they’ll require a good amount of bone tissue to fuse with. Without a dental bone graft, your sockets might not have enough bone matter to fully support implants!
Tips for Recovering from a Dental Bone Graft
A dental bone graft will take some time to heal, no matter how major or minor the procedure. The recovery period can take anywhere from several months to over a year. That said, here are some tips to make this process as smooth and uninterrupted as possible:
- Get plenty of rest to help your body heal.
- Take prescribed or over-the-counter pain relievers as needed.
- Use a cold compress or ice pack to reduce swelling near the surgical site.
- Avoid hard or chewy foods and adhere to a soft-food diet. Also drink plenty of water.
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco—these products can inhibit your body’s natural healing process.
- Refrain from intense physical activity or exercise, as it can increase the body’s blood flow and cause bleeding in your surgical sites.
- Follow any and all instructions and guidelines provided by your dentist or oral surgeon.
Dental bone grafts have become an important part of oral care, as they ensure that restorative dental options like implants are viable. If your dentist has informed you that you’ll need one after having your tooth extracted, it will help to pave the way towards your new and improved smile.
About the Author
Dr. James Nelson proudly serves patients and families in the Metairie, LA area. Dr. Nelson received his dental doctorate from the LSU School of Dentistry and is a member of several professional organizations including the American Dental Association, the Louisiana Dental Association, and the prestigious Academy of General Dentistry. His practice is pleased to offer many available services including preventive, cosmetic, restorative, and emergency dentistry options. If you have any questions about the article or would like to schedule an appointment, feel free to reach out online or over the phone: (504) 887-3311.