Throughout the years, dental care and oral hygiene technology have gone through a lot, advancing continually, arming dental specialists with the necessary tools to treat various problems related to the gums, teeth, and even jawlines to improve the patient’s oral structure.
Bone graft surgery is only one of these highly-effective procedures that can treat an array of dental problems, however, they can fail every now and then.
In this article, we’ll discuss everything you know about a failed bone graft, the obvious signs of dental bone graft failure, and your best options when it comes to your best choices to mitigate the issue in an outstanding Family Dentistry in Miami.
What is Bone Graft Surgery
Before heading out to sedation dentistry in Miami with your concerns related to a failed bone graft, let’s say a few words about the procedure itself.
Bone graft is a minor form of surgery in which your dental expert aims to stimulate bone cell growth in the jawline. First, the professional makes an incision in the gum, exposing the bone. After this, they insert the graft material with a syringe.
The graft material itself can be created from different processed bone materials. The minerals in question can be composed of your own bones, synthetically created, or experts can use other human or animal bone materials. The mineral compound is also enriched with collagen, enabling the mixture to serve as a foundation for the body to create new bone cells naturally.
Facing a Failed Bone Graft
While bone graft surgery is safe and pretty straightforward, the procedure can fail, especially if an experienced dentist performs it.
As a matter of fact, the surgery can also fail even when an experienced professional performs it. In these cases, the failed bone graft procedure is mainly due to poor post-op care management, your overall health, or unexpected complications during surgery.
Even then, you should know that the procedure itself is highly safe and effective.
Sings of Dental Bone Graft Failure
The success of the procedure depends on several factors. For starters, how well the surgery was performed.
Proper dental care is also paramount, meaning that daily brushing and flushing are also crucial in order to see the expected results from the procedure.
Your bone graft surgery is prone to fail if your oral hygiene is poor. For instance, you can develop peri-implantitis. Also, developing gingivitis will cause gum recession after surgery.
All in all, the signs of a failed bone graft are rather obvious. If you notice the following symptoms, consulting with your dental expert as soon as possible is necessary to resolve the ongoing issues and to prevent any further complications from happening.
As such, here are the most common signs of dental bone graft failure:
- Prolonged, intense swelling: Swelling is normal following surgery, but it should go away within a few days. If it remains prominent and sizable, chances are, the graft might be failing.
- Acute pain: Again, feeling some pain after surgery is pretty normal and should also subside after a while. If the pain persists for long and even gets worse as time progresses, bone graft failure might be at hand.
- Gum recession: As said before, gum disease and gum recession may make any dental implant become loose. In the case of gingivitis, your bone graft can also fail.
- Leakage: This is among the clearest signs of dental bone graft failure. Some drainage from the graft location is expected, but if you experience severe leakage, the graft might be failing.
- No bone growth: Another one of the obvious signs of failed dental bone graft. The grafts can actually fall out even without any clear symptoms, but the procedure might have been unsuccessful when you don’t see the bone slowly rebuild itself.
The above are imminent signs of a failed bone graft procedure that will present themselves soon after surgery. In some cases, grafts can fail even a long time after the treatment. In these cases, the most common symptoms are the following:
- Oral bacterial infection
- More frequent teeth clenching than usual
- Recurring gingivitis
- Head and neck pains
- Failing dental hygiene even when taking care of your teeth regularly
- Implants under stress when chewing/eating
These symptoms can show up even a decade following your procedure. As such, you should be vigilant for years after surgery and consult with your dental specialist if you feel anything out of pace to prevent bone graft failure and complex dental interventions.
Can the Graft Fall out?
The short answer is yes. The graft material has a sand-like consistency and you don’t need to get nervous if you feel small granules on your tongue a few days after surgery. These experiences can be normal and they don’t translate to bone graft failure in every case.
Even then, you will want to do everything you can to minimalize this with the following steps:
- Don’t touch the bone graft surgery area with your fingers.
- Try to keep your tongue away from the treated site.
- Avoid smoking for at least two weeks if you are a smoker.
- Don’t move your lip to examine the site. It can rip the sutures and damage the wound.
- Don’t put pressure on the implant.
It’s simply essential for achieving the best results. Naturally, to avoid bone graft failure, you should follow all your dentist’s instructions. Also, if you have any questions about post-op care after bone graft surgery, feel free to ask your specialist.
After Bone Graft Surgery
Following the procedure, your dentist will cover the site with a gauze pad that will need to be kept in place for at least 30 minutes. Try not to touch or probe the area.
Also, after the anesthesia has worn off, you might feel discomfort, pain, and feverish. In these cases it’s okay to use prescribed pain medication, however, you will need to steer clear of taking acetaminophen like Tylenol and Aspirin. These can make post-op bleeding worse.
As said before, feeling pain post-op is normal. However, if the pain persists, it could be one of the signs of dental bone graft failure, and you should reach out to your dentist as soon as possible.
Following your dentist’s instructions is also paramount since this is the best way to ensure proper healing and long-term success. Even if you develop an infection, consult with your doctor and use the prescribed antibiotics.
When you suspect that your grafts are failing, your best course of action will always be to consult with your dentist as soon as possible.
Experience is Key
As already mentioned, the best precaution you can take to ensure long-term success with your bone grafts is to have them done by an experienced and skilled dental professional. Of course, following their instructions and having healthy dental care habits is also essential, but the delicacy of the procedure requires seasoned and highly-skilled hands.
As such, if you are looking for reliable bone graft surgery experts, feel free to reach out to us to schedule a consultation.