Receiving A Bone Graft Before A Dental Implant: 2 Tips For Effective Aftercare

According to the experts, nearly 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. If you are thinking of investing in a dental implant to replace your own missing tooth, it is important that you take the time to fully understand the process. In order to properly place an implant, your dentist needs a solid base of bone. If you don't have enough bone to complete the implant procedure, your dentist will probably perform a bone graft first to help supplement your existing bone.

Here are two tips you can use to ensure that your bone graft heals quickly and properly.

1. Eat A Proper Diet

Immediately following your bone graft procedure it will be important for you to eat a proper diet. While nutrients do matter, it's more important for you to focus on the texture of the foods you consume in order to allow the bone time to heal.

Here are some foods you should avoid while your bone graft heals:

  • Anything with a crunch. If a food is crunchy, that likely means it has sharp edges that could damage your incision site as you eat. Avoiding foods like potato chips, popcorn, and hard candies will help you heal faster.  
  • Anything that is spicy. While a little heat might satiate your appetite on a regular day, eating spicy foods after a bone graft is not advised. Not only could these foods delay the healing process, but they can cause discomfort by burning or irritating the incision site.

2. Maintain A Strict Oral Hygiene Regimen

In addition to brushing and flossing the areas of your mouth that were not affected by the bone graft procedure, you must take additional precautions to ensure that your oral hygiene routine allows the incision site to heal properly. Keeping the bone graft site clear of any food particles will prevent possible bacterial infections.

Here are some easy oral hygiene tasks you can do at home to help your bone graft heal properly:

  • If your dentist has given you a prescription mouthwash, use it. Prescription mouthwashes help to remove the bacteria that cause infection. If your dentist prescribes a mouthwash, you should use it the night before your surgery to help prep the bone graft site. The prescription mouthwash should also be used after breakfast and before you go to bed the day after your surgery. This will reduce your chances of developing an infection.  
  • Rinse regularly with saltwater. Keeping the bone graft site clean is essential when it comes to proper healing. To maintain cleanliness throughout the day, be sure that you rinse with a warm saltwater solution 4-5 times per day. This solution can be made by adding a teaspoon of table salt to a cup of hot water.

By taking the time to learn how you can care for your bone graft, you will increase the likelihood that your incision heals properly. Eliminating potential complications ensures that you will be able to receive a dental implant without delay.