What happens if a dental bone graft doesn’t go as planned? You might notice ongoing pain or discomfort in the bone graft site. Swelling and redness that stick around longer than expected can also indicate that something needs attention.

These things don’t necessarily mean the graft has failed, but they are worth watching. If you notice any of them, check in with your oral surgeon. Let’s discuss the warning signs of a failed dental bone graft.

  1. Pain
    Pain or discomfort in the surgical site is common once the anesthesia wears off. But if that pain sticks around or gets worse over time, it could mean the graft didn’t work like it should. The pain might be there all the time, or it might only happen when you bite down or talk.
    If the pain spreads to nearby teeth, jaw, or face, it could also be a sign that the graft didn’t take well. If you’re dealing with ongoing or increasing pain after a bone graft, you must talk to your oral surgeon. They can expertly diagnose the issue.
  2. Swelling
    Swelling in the surgical site is also normal, but excessive or persistent swelling is not. If your bone graft site feels sore and tender to touch, it indicates a problem with your bone graft. This swelling can occur due to insufficient blood supply or infection.
    Treatment includes antibiotics to fight infection, pain medications to ease discomfort, or even excessive surgery to fix things up. For the best results, follow your dentist’s advice and attend check-up appointments.
  3. Constant Bleeding
    If your gums keep bleeding after a bone graft, it can be one of the many signs of an infected dental bone graft. A little bleeding right after the procedure is normal, but if it keeps going for hours or you see blood in your spit or when you brush, you need to see your dentist immediately.
    Your dentist might press on the area or use stitches to stop the bleeding. You must also prevent dry mouth by avoiding smoking or rinsing too hard, which could mess up the healing.
  4. Problems in Chewing and Speaking Properly
    If a patient experiences trouble chewing or talking after a bone graft, the bone graft fails to integrate with the jawbone. This might make your mouth uncomfortable or make it hard to do everyday things like eating or speaking.
    To fix this problem, your oral surgeon can re-examine the graft site, perform another bone grafting, or try different treatments. They will work with you to figure out the best plan for your situation.
  5. Loose Dental Implant
    A bone graft is usually performed before the dental implants to make them stay. They leverage your jawbone to function properly. If your dental implants start to feel loose or wobbly, it indicates insufficient support from the jawbone. This could happen because the bone didn’t fuse well with the implant, or there is an infection.
  6. Gum Recession
    It can be a bone graft failure if your gums appear smaller or pulled back after a bone graft. This is uncommon because your gums are supposed to feel fuller. If they keep shrinking rather than improving in the volume. You must visit your dentist.

Ending Note

A bone graft can help prepare your jaw for dental implants, but sometimes it fails. If you see or taste pus, get an infection, have problems with your nerves or sinuses, feel tooth sensitivity, or have severe pain, it’s crucial to contact your dentist immediately.

Visit Dr. Ahmad Millwala at Vintage Oral Surgery. Our oral surgeon specializes in office-based procedures, such as tooth extractions, bone grafting, and the placement of dental implants. Dial (281) 800-8852 to book an appointment.

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