Reviewed by Dr. Kerri Font, DDS

How to Prevent Dental Bone Graft Infection

Dental bone grafts are a critical part of many dental procedures and play a crucial role in addressing tooth loss and periodontal disease.This blog will explain what a dental bone graft is, why someone might need one, the types of grafts available, and how to prevent infections associated with the procedure. We’ll also discuss how Highland Ranch Periodontics and Implant Center can help keep your oral health in top shape.

Table of Contents

Understanding Dental Bone Grafts

A dental bone graft is a surgical procedure in which bone or a bone-like material is placed in the jawbone to help stimulate new bone growth. This process can restore lost bone tissue and provide support for dental implants, bridges, and dentures.

Bone grafts use graft material from your body, a donor, or synthetic sources to stimulate new bone tissue growth. These grafts act as a scaffold for new bone to grow on, and over time, the graft material is replaced by your natural bone.

Why are Dental Bone Grafts Necessary?

  • Dental implants: For individuals with missing teeth, dental implants provide a long-term solution that restores function and appearance. However, to support the implant, adequate jaw bone is necessary. Bone grafts build up the jaw bone, preparing it for the implant.
  • Periodontal disease: Bone loss can occur due to advanced gum disease. Dental bone graft surgery can stop further bone loss and promote the regrowth of healthy tissue.
  • After a tooth extraction:  After a tooth extraction, the jawbone can diminish in size and density due to lack of stimulation. A bone graft helps maintain or restore bone volume to support future dental work.

Types of Bone Grafts

Our office uses two types of bone graft material: autografts and allografts.

  1. Autografts use your bone as graft material. In most cases, we’ll take bone from your chin, lower leg or hip. This type of graft is typically used when your jaw needs extra height or width.
  2. Allografts use human bone from a cadaver, which has been tested and sterilized for safe use. This option is used when not enough healthy bone is available on the patient’s body.

Risks of Infection After Dental Bone Graft Surgery

Like any surgery, dental bone grafting carries a risk of infection. A bone graft infection has the potential to weaken the bone, leading to long-term oral health issues and negatively affecting the success of your treatment.

Infections typically occur when bacteria enter the surgical site, often due to poor oral hygiene. Risk factors that may contribute to developing infections include smoking, systemic diseases (such as diabetes), and the use of certain medications.

Symptoms of a Bone Graft Infection

Symptoms associated with a dental bone graft infection may include:

  • Severe or increasing pain
  • Severe swelling
  • Excessive drainage from the site
  • A bad taste in your mouth

How to Prevent Dental Bone Graft Infection

To minimize the risk of infection after surgery, follow these essential tips:

  • Maintain dental hygiene: Continue with a good oral hygiene routine. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once daily. Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush and be careful around the surgical site.
  • Avoid strenuous activity: Avoid strenuous exercise for at least 2 weeks after surgery. Do not exercise or do any heavy lifting as this may cause undue stress on the surgical site.
  • Avoid touching the surgical site: Do not poke, prod, or touch the area with your tongue and fingers.
  • Eat soft foods: Avoid eating hard, crunchy or sharp foods. 
  • Avoid hot or spicy foods: Hot and spicy foods can damage the new bone graft and cause it to break down.
  • Avoid smoking and vaping: Smoking and vaping impairs the healing process and increases the risk of infection.
  • Follow post-operative instructions: Our office will provide detailed post-operative instructions for optimal healing and to minimize the risk of infection.

Your Periodontist in Highlands Ranch

At Highlands Ranch Periodontics and Implant Center, we are committed to providing high-quality periodontal and implant care. Our experienced periodontists, Dr. Mike Norouzinia, DDS and Dr. Kerri Font, DDS, offer a range of services, including dental bone grafts, to improve your oral health and overall well-being.

With proper care and maintenance, you can prevent infections following dental bone graft surgery. If you have recently had a bone graft and are concerned about an infection, call us at (303) 683-1144.

If you are searching for a periodontist in Highlands Ranch or dental bone grafting in Highlands Ranch, we can help. Call us at (303) 683-1144 or complete the online booking form to set up an appointment. We look forward to helping you restore your healthy and beautiful smile!

Additional Resources

Dental Bone Graft Healing Stages

Types of Dental Bone Grafts: Everything You Need to Know

Categories: Periodontics