A bone graft is a surgical procedure in which bone tissue is transplanted into an area of the body that is damaged or needs additional support. In dentistry, it is usually performed to ensure sufficient bone structure to support a dental implant. The bone used for a bone graft can come from the patient’s own body, a donor, or be entirely man-made. It can encourage new bone growth if it’s accepted by the body.
Before performing a bone graft, your dentist will perform an examination to ensure that you are a good candidate for the procedure. It’s important to follow any instructions you are given on what to do in the days before and on the day of your surgery.
Your dentist will decide which type of bone graft is most appropriate for your surgery. General anesthesia will be used for the procedure and an anesthesiologist will monitor you throughout. First, an incision will be made into the skin above where the graft is needed. The donated bone is then placed and shaped to fit the area. Once it is securely in place, the incision will be closed with stitches.
Recovery from a bone graft procedure depends on the size of the graft, among other things. How you handle the treated area following surgery will affect recovery time greatly. Applying ice to the area can prevent swelling, alleviating pain and preventing blood clots from forming. It will be important to refrain from vigorous activity as the area heals. Maintaining a healthy diet will also aid the recovery process.
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