While we are fortunate enough to live in a time in which we have access to innovative dental procedures of all kinds, none of them are without their risks. While having a bone graft can be helpful, it can also cause harm if you make the mistake of allowing the wrong practice to complete this procedure or fail to adhere to the aftercare instructions. At Sedaros Oral Surgery, we advise you to take a closer look at the bone grafting procedure, as well as signs that your bone graft may be failing.

What is a Bone Graft?

For those who are yet unfamiliar, a bone graft is a minor surgical procedure that is typically completed in a dental or oral surgeon’s office. During this procedure, an incision is made in the gum to make the bone beneath it more accessible. From there, the grafting material is added, which is typically composed of processed bone minerals that cause your body to deposit new bone cells.

These materials can come from your own body, derived from animals or other humans, or they may also be composed of a synthetic substance. This material can be in the form of granules, powder, gel, or putty and is most commonly inserted via a syringe injection. Typically covered by a collagen membrane to promote optimal bone repair, once it has been inserted, it serves as a scaffold, with which your body can begin to build the new bone.

Bone Graft Uses

As mentioned, bone grafts can be useful for a variety of reasons. They are as follows:

  • Dental Implants: Dental implants involve the insertion of a tiny titanium post in the jawbone, which is then covered with a realistic dental crown, as a means of permanently replacing one or more missing teeth. While this surgery is ideal for those who are looking for permanent tooth replacement options, it also requires a relatively good bone volume to complete. Those who have waited for years after losing their teeth or otherwise have issues with bone volume, often need to have a bone graft before they can receive their dental implants.
  • Saving Teeth: If you suffer from severe issues such as periodontal disease, you can begin to lose bone, which can ultimately put you at risk of losing your teeth as well. In these cases, a bone graft can help to restore your dental health.
  • Tooth Extractions: If you have to have a tooth extracted for any reason, having a bone graft is a great way to preserve the bone in the area in which the tooth is pulled. This helps to temporarily save the bone in the area, should you choose to have dental implants soon.

How to Tell if Your Bone Graft is Failing

The most common causes of a failing bone graft are health issues, improper technique, infection, or inappropriate materials used. The signs of a failing bone graft are as follows:

  • Severe Drainage from Site: While some drainage is normal, severe drainage from the area in which you had the bone graft is a sign that your bone graft may be failing.
  • Severe Pain: While some level of pain is to be expected, this pain should be relatively manageable with the help of pain medications that are typically prescribed by your oral surgeon. However, if this pain is severe and/or lasts for multiple days or weeks, this is a sign that your bone graft is likely failing.
  • Extreme Swelling: While some swelling is normal, this should dissipate within a few days. If you notice your swelling is extreme or remains for a prolonged period, this is a sign of a failing bone graft.
  • No Sign of the Grafted Bone: When you have a bone graft, the bone is slowly built and it should feel like your bone has been restored. If you do not adhere to the aftercare instructions, it is possible for the materials to be shaken out of place and your gums will return to their previous state.

Overall, if you are seeking dental implants Melbourne FL that require a bone graft, be sure to contact Dr. Steve Sedaros, a reputable dental professional who can ensure that your bone graft and implant surgeries are handled with the utmost care.