Tooth Extraction with Bone Graft: What to Expect
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During an extraction, the tooth being removed leaves an open “socket” inside of the bone that once supported it. While the soft tissues around the surgical site heal and close over the opening, the bone doesn’t grow to fill in the open area that’s left behind.
As with other types of tooth loss, the bone around the area will tend to resorb (shrink) around the extraction site, lessening the quantity of bone that’s left to support adjacent teeth. Facial profiles can also change, appearing more sunken in, as the jaw becomes thinner.
Not only is appearance and/or support of neighboring teeth a concern, but so is the bone support that’s left for the implant that will be installed to replace your missing tooth. Without enough bone, there will be nothing to hold your new restoration in place.
To ensure there’s adequate bone in the open socket and prevent shrinkage of the jaw around it, a post tooth extraction bone graft will be necessary.
What Are Bone Grafts?
Typically performed alongside of a tooth extraction, bone grafts place new bone into the open socket immediately after a tooth has been removed. The extraction site is then closed up and the bone graft is allowed to “take,” in which time it triggers an integration process with the body where new bone forms and fills in the void left behind.
Once the new bone is dense enough, you can move forward with having your dental implant placed.
Bone grafts are also used in instances unrelated to tooth extractions, such as when teeth are susceptible to mobility due to trauma or periodontal disease.
There are several types of bone graft options, with the most appropriate one being selected based on your bone health and size of the extraction site. Osseous (bone) powder, a graft from elsewhere in the body, or even synthetic materials may be used. Each is FDA-approved.
Following Your Tooth Extraction: Bone Graft Recovery
Since a bone graft is placed inside of the open extraction site and covered with gingiva, it isn’t typically exposed to external elements that can irritate it or cause the graft to come out. However, it is extremely important to keep any tooth extraction/bone graft site very clean. Otherwise, a secondary infection can set in and lead to pain, swelling, and the need for an additional surgery.
Some of the post-operative instructions that we provide to our Lafayette, CO patients include:
- Gently rinsing with warm salt water a few times a day, to alleviate swelling and remove food debris.
- Avoid chewing on the side of the extraction site for several days.
- Take any medication as directed.
- Eat soft foods for the first few days.
- Be sure to make post-operative appointments to monitor healing and bone integration.
For the most part, there’s little to expect in regard to discomfort following a bone graft. Most minor soreness will be due to the extraction and will improve as each day passes. Preserve your smile’s future and make dental implants a reality today by calling Coal Creek Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center.