When the bones in your jaw start to deteriorate, it can cause tooth loss. If you have already lost a tooth, your bones are more likely to break down, which can lead to more tooth loss. Bone doesn’t regrow, so the only option is to replace it with a bone graft. An onlay bone graft is a type of graft that takes bone from another part of your body, or from a donor, and grafts it on top of the bone to help improve the shape and support of the upper jaw.
Reasons You May Need a Dental Bone Graft
If your bones are deteriorating, you may be at risk for severe tooth loss. Your bones help keep your teeth in place, and when they wear or break down, the teeth lose their support and become loose. Since bone doesn’t grow back, a bone graft is needed to add the support back to the jaw. Some common reasons a person may need a bone graft include,
- Prevent tooth loss
- Prepare for dental implants
- Reshape jaw or mouth
- Help make existing teeth more stable
- Treat tooth and jaw pain
Benefits of An Onlay Bone Graft
There are many benefits to receiving an onlay bone graft. There are specific reasons a dental surgeon will recommend this procedure. The benefits of a successful graft are long term. The sooner a dentist or patient recognizes that bone loss is occurring, and the sooner they receive the graft, the less likely the patient is to experience substantial tooth loss. The longer the bone has to deteriorate, the more teeth the patient may lose. Benefits of receiving a dental bone graft include,
- Reduced risk of tooth loss
- More stable bite
- Less jaw pain
- Structures jawline
- Improved tooth stability
Is Dental Onlay Bone Graft Surgery Painful?
When you receive dental onlay bone graft surgery, you will be under anesthesia. That means you will be completely out and unaware of the process. No pain is felt during the process, and most patients only have mild discomfort during recovery. Patients may experience swelling inside the mouth and even outside around the jaw area. The swelling may also cause pain in other areas of the face, especially around the sinuses.
Medications that help reduce swelling and pain should be taken after surgery and can help reduce these symptoms. Some patients may also experience pain at the site of surgery and may not be able to chew on that side of their mouth for several days or even weeks, depending on how fast the dental onlay bone graft heals. Your dental surgeon will do everything possible to make the procedure painless. They can even prescribe prescription medications if the over the counter variety is not strong enough.
How Long Does It Take to Recover from a Dental Onlay Bone Graft
Many patients are nervous and apprehensive about dental onlay bone graft surgery because they worry about the recovery time. Everyone is different, and recovery can vary by individual and the results of the bone graft. Most bone grafts are successful, but there is a possibility that the bones can absorb the new graft too. If the graft is successful, it can take up to six weeks for a patient to fully heal.
Pain, swelling, and discomfort usually only last about a week. Pain medications can be used to treat these symptoms and help keep the patient comfortable during the healing process. Many patients also worry that they have to completely heal from the graft before they can receive the implant. Your dental surgeon can perform the implant surgery at the same time as the bone graft, which can actually help both heal faster and be more secure.
Nobody should have to live in fear of losing their teeth due to deteriorating bones. If you are suffering from loose or missing teeth, you may be in need of an oral bone graft. Sacramento Surgical Arts can help. Call us at 866.930.5837 to make an appointment today.