When the bone is nicely restored, the dentist can proceed to the dental implants treatment. Generally, the dentist can perform grafting using the own bone of the patient, cadaver bone or synthetic bone (genetically engineered bone growth proteins).
The graft will help filing in any “gaps” in your natural jaw bone structure, and will make the bone dense enough for the necessary dental treatments to be carried out. If a patient lacks bone density, the dental implants will typically fail, since the implant cannot fuse correctly with the bone.
The bone grafting intervention may require general or local anesthesia, depending. However, a smart choice would be to take off a few days from work, so that you can have the time to relax and heal properly without doing any of the usual tasks. In order to avoid any complications such as the possibility of an infection, the dentist will prescribe antibiotics that you must take. Some pain relievers will also be necessary, since after the surgery you will feel some pain and discomfort at the area of the grafting.
Another important aspect that you should keep in mind is that you must inform your dentist about any allergic reactions, or medications you are currently taking. This way, he can tailor the best course of treatment in your case.
After the jaw bone grafting procedure, you should normally switch to a soft food diet. This means that you will consume plenty of liquids, and many foods that are prepared with the blender.
You have to avoid putting any pressure directly onto the site of the grafting, to allow it to heal as naturally as possible. If you are generally wearing dentures, after the jaw bone graft procedure you might not be allowed to wear your dentures for a while.
You will also avoid brushing the area of the bone graft, to avoid any injuries to the incision. You need to be extremely careful and ensure that the area of the grafting is allowed to heal as naturally as possible. Substitute brushing with using a disinfecting mouthwash for a few days, and stay away completely from foods that are crunchy or necessitate a lot of chewing.
The dental bone graft will typically heal completely in about 6 months or even more. This does not mean that you will have so many restrictions for these months, but that that any dental intervention can’t be performed until the bone graft has healed completely and successfully.
Follow up appointments are necessary, and your dentist will most probably check on how the graft is healing by performing dental X-rays. In case the bone graft fails, the dentist will generally suggest yet another try, but only after the area where he removed the failed graft has healed completely.