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Bone Grafts

Teeth that are missing for some time or that have been lost following an injury often leave an area of your jaw with a compromised bone volume. Prior to replacing these teeth with dental implants, a bone graft may be necessary as a separate procedure, much like laying the foundation before building a house.

Many sources of bone graft material exist and these may be obtained from your own body (autograft), from another human being (allograft), from an animal (xenograft), or from a synthetic material (alloplast).

The source of bone graft depends on your specific situation. An autograft can be harvested from various parts of your body and the anatomic site selected depends on the type and volume of bone required for your situation. Anatomic sites commonly used are the upper or lower jaws accessed through incision inside the mouth, the crest of the pelvic bone and the tibia.

Techniques for Pre-Implant Reconstruction:
1. We are also excited to offer various bone and gum grafting and augmentation procedures using platelet rich fibrin (PRF) biotechnology, by harvesting a small amount of the patient's own blood. This allows for a rapid initial healing phase and the avoidance of a second surgical site for bone harvesting. This option will be discussed with you should you meet the proper criteria.
2. For those who wish to explore an alternative method to increase bone turnover and possibly faster and stronger bone graft healing, we are equipped to offer you extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT). There is clinical evidence that ESWT increases bone turnover in people with reduced bone healing capabilities.

Mild bleeding is expected for ~48 hours following oral surgery. If bleeding occurs, place a clean gauze pad, or a moist tea bag, directly over the bleeding site and apply biting pressure for 30 minutes. Avoid hot liquids, exercise, and lying flat for ~ 5 days. If bleeding persists, call the doctor immediately.

The area operated on will swell, reaching a maximum on day 3. This usually appears as puffy cheeks or lips. Swelling and discoloration around the eye may occur. Apply ice packs externally over the face over the operated area for the first 2 days. Keep your head elevated above your chest while sleeping for the first 5 days (use 2 or 3 pillows under your head when lying down).

For mild discomfort, take Advil/Motrin/Ibuprofen or Tylenol/Acetaminophen as instructed on the bottle. For severe pain, use the prescriptions given to you. If an antibiotic has been prescribed, finish your prescription regardless of your symptoms.

Do not rinse your mouth for the first day after surgery, or while there is bleeding. After the first day, use a warm salt-water rinse (1 tablespoon of salt in 1 cup of water) every four hours and after meals to flush out particles of food and debris that may lodge in the operated area. Vigorous spitting is prohibited; instead, lean over the sink and allow liquids to passively flow out of your mouth. It is expected that you brush your teeth gently, while avoiding the surgical areas, as of the first post-operative day.

Drink lots of clear fluids throughout the first 2 days after surgery. Restrict your diet to liquids and soft foods that are comfortable for you to eat. As the wounds heal, you will be able to advance the consistency of your diet; this usually takes 5 days.

If you have a high fever or uncontrollable pain, please contact the doctor directly. If you have difficulty breathing or swallowing, someone must accompany you to the emergency department of the nearest hospital or call 911. Your doctor must also be called.