Whether you’re getting a bone graft so you can receive dental implants or simply because you’re having a tooth extracted in general and want to mitigate bone loss, they are an essential treatment for your case.
However, many people don’t know how to prepare after the treatment is complete, nor do they know how long recovery will take. The last thing an oral surgeon in Dallas wants you to do is overexert yourself and cause complications later, which is why he’s going into more detail about what to expect.
How Long Is Recovery Time After a Bone Graft?
The recovery time for a bone graft truly depends on the severity of the injury or issue in your jaw as well as the size of the graft placed. If you plan on getting a dental implant, it’s always better to get a bone graft quickly after a tooth is extracted, as this allows the surgeon to speed up your timeline for receiving one.
On average, the recovery time for a bone graft can take as long as two weeks to three months, depending on the mentioned factors. Of course, the bone graft itself will take much longer to fully heal, which is typically three months or longer.
How Should I Plan for My Recovery?
After your surgery, the surgeon will likely tell you to avoid extreme exercise for up to six months. If you are usually an active person, clarify with the surgeon what activities you can and cannot do. During your daily routine, you’ll need to keep the grafting area clean and dry so healing can effectively occur.
Most importantly, do not smoke or use any tobacco products while you’re healing. Doing this will slow down the healing process significantly. Furthermore, smoking is more likely to cause the graft site to fail. Unfortunately, nicotine patches can slow down the healing process as well, so avoid these until the surgeon says it’s okay to use them again.
Signs of Complications to Look Out For
There are many common symptoms after bone graft surgery, most of which are not cause for alarm. For example, swelling will occur significantly after the second or third day of healing and will continue for several days, even after applying ice packs to the surgery site.
However, if you notice post-operative pain or swelling that worsens, or you experience unusual symptoms not mentioned by the surgeon, call the practice who performed the surgery. If while taking your antibiotics you notice rash symptoms, contact the practice so you can be given a different variety of antibiotic. Fluid draining from the incision is normal, however you should contact the office if it becomes severe and uncontrollable.
Got a question about your next bone graft procedure and aftercare? Schedule an appointment today!
About the Author
Dr. Christopher Bao Brown earned his DDS degree from the University of Maryland and completed a one-year internship in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Afterwards, he completed Oral and Maxillofacial surgery residency training at the University of Washington. One of his specialties includes soft and hard tissue grafting. To learn more about his practice, you can contact him through his website.