If you have recently undergone a tooth extraction, you may have heard your dentist talk about the possibility of bone grafting. It is a procedure that helps preserve the jawbone structure and prepare the area for a dental implant. Let’s discuss why bone grafting is needed after tooth extraction in the first place.
Why Is Bone Graft Necessary?
To get a dental implant in place of the missing tooth, your bone density must be solid enough to host the post and abutment. Simply leaving the space empty can lead to several complications.
As time passes by, the bone around the extraction site starts to resorb, resulting in a loss of jawbone volume. As a result, the neighboring teeth gradually shift towards the gap, causing misalignment and bite problems.
Moreover, chewing food becomes increasingly challenging. Consequently, what could have been a single-tooth restoration may turn into a more extensive and costly procedure involving the restoration of multiple teeth.
Is Bone Grafting After Tooth Extraction Compulsory?
No, it is not a compulsion; bone grafting is offered to those people who lose a significant amount of bone density due to missing teeth.
However, there are alternative techniques that you can take into consideration. One such method is one-stage implantation with instant loading, where dental implants and temporary prosthetics are placed simultaneously with the extraction of the affected tooth. This approach allows for the restoration of teeth without the need for bone grafting.
Postoperative Care – The Initial Days after Surgery
Follow these instructions during the initial days after bone grafting surgery to ensure a smooth recovery and minimize complications.
- Apply a cold compress to the extraction site within the first 2 hours of the procedure.
- Do not forget to take your prescribed medications as per the dentist’s instructions.
- Steer clear of engaging yourself in physical activities that may strain the healing area.
- Do not drink hot beverages or eat spicy, hard, or salty foods.
- Gently swish, swirl, and spit for the first 3 to 4 days, avoiding vigorous mouthwash.
- Start brushing your teeth with a soft toothbrush two to three days after the procedure.
- Periodically clean the sutures and treat the injured area with an antiseptic-soaked tampon. Apply an ointment prescribed by your doctor to promote tissue healing.
One Week Post-Op
Usually, after one week, the injured tissues heal sufficiently, so you can resume your normal activities gradually. With time, increase your physical activity level. If the exposed area does not cause discomfort and the sutures have been removed, you can cautiously reintroduce solid foods into your diet and resume full oral hygiene practices.