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Dental Implant Bone Graft healing -What to Expect

In this video, I explain what you can expect after having a dental implant bone graft. I receive a lot of questions on a daily basis that I address in this blog post. Feel free to ask questions below!

I also have another video explaining how long it takes for bone grafts to heal.

Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry
Burbank, California

44 thoughts on “Dental Implant Bone Graft healing -What to Expect

  1. Hi Dr!
    I had teeth 13,14 and 15 removed november 20th, 2019 due to infection caused by 3 bad root canals. Thinking back it had been infected about 12-14 years.. if even low grade in beginning. I had cadaver bone grafts put in, and 2 places patched on my sinus due to perforations caused by the infection. My whole sinus was infected.. and had been for who knows how long. It’s been about 6 weeks since my extraction.. and I still feel pressure come and go with that sinus. The surgical site appears to be healing fine.. no tendeness.. or looks of any infection on the outside. The periodontist said it looked good.. however she just peeked at it.. I still feel sinus pressure.. not as much as before extraction but it still feels like a problem.. my sinus is also draining some.. clear fluid.. and I can randomly smell something like a dead animal or something.. not very often.. maybe 5 or 10 times over the past month.. but considering the amount of infection that lingered up there behind those teeth for all that time, I’m worried there may be a small infection that has not gone away completely.. maybe not.. but I dont go back for my next checkup for about 14 weeks. Should I go back sooner for ex ray? Would she be able to see if there is still any infection with the 3D ex ray? Or does it take some time for the body to rid the remnants of infection? Maybe I should visit someone even more specialized to see what’s going on ? What are your thoughts ?

  2. I had bone graft powder put in for molar extraction. Nothing infected of swollen, says it looks great. But slight sour taste in mouth and it feels like I have a little piece of food in back where site is. I have a syringe and clean it out a couple times a day where the little slit is where tooth was. No bleeding what so ever either. I am just wondering how long this should go on. It does not hurt, just annoying. Only thing I ever feel is some pressure there if I ride bike hard or lift weights.

    1. Hmm 🤔 if it is still like this after 6-8 weeks you should be checked. You are likely losing bone. Not a fan of the irrigating syringe either

      1. Thanks. I did go back to oral surgeon but he said it looks like it is healing even a little better than normal. May just be food. He said food gets in and out of that little thing. So you think no syringe, just the post surgery soft brush for that area?

  3. Hi so I had a extraction and bone graft for implant a week ago. It is constant throbbing pain and a horrible smell from the stitches. Is that normal? Why is the pain so unbearable a week later. The doctor didn’t tell me to expect this. I have been taking the antibiotics and using the mouth wash.

    1. you need to be seen for follow-up. Something sounds wrong. I am guessing that this was a lower molar. There are times that the dentist will do everything right and patient will have tremendous amount of pain but that is the exception rather than the normal.. I hope you get well soon

  4. I had periodontal surgery 40 years ago. I had extractions, sinus lift, bone grafts and implants on #13,14, 3, 4 (Nov. 2014- June 2016) Sour, unhealthy taste in #13, 14 before implants. Panoramic x-ray and individual x-rays. Crown bridge was removed. Open flap gum surgery March 2018. Told implants are sturdy. Still have bad taste. Hesitate to put screw retained crown bridge back on. What else could be causing the bad taste?

    1. Something obviously isn’t right. You probably need to have a second opinion. Brush, floss then WaterPik in that order. Brush for 4 minutes!!

  5. Hello!

    I had my left 2 wisdom teeth taken out on Friday 6/29 and #30 was extracted and a bone graft put in. My pain is pretty much gone at this point (just some discomfort and I can “feel” the areas sometimes but no pain at all.

    However my I don’t personally smell it, but my mom was able to smell bad odor when she got close to me (she was looking at my bone graft spot as I had a question for her) and she said it smelled bad. She said it smelled like if you get dental work done, best way she could describe it.

    Is it normal to have odor like this?

    I visited my OS on Thursday 7/5 he said everything looked good, no signs of infection and took the stitches out of the bone graft area. I did notice there is some redness in the bone graft area near the tooth behind and tooth in front of the bone graft and I feel like the amount of bone graft is less than when I got it put in.

    Sorry mainly about the odor, but thought I’d mention the above also.

    Thanks in advance!

  6. Dr Amin ,i had an extraction two weeks ago ,and as dr said it ,a bone graft .I was in pain for all this time and still am (now it is more like an ear pain in that side rather than the whole entire head),I was put on antibiotics to prevent infection wright after ,and for a few days now,I have a sour taste in my mouth coming from that tooth.I can still see a big chunk of white stuff(bone I guess),and the area is very tender and still inflamed.I have not been eating for 12 days to keep that area clean(only drinking soup and yogurt).Do you think that I should let my dr know about it ?It is all this normal?

  7. Hi Dr, I have a server bone lost in my lower jaw, where my four from teeth are. Do I need bone graft or can be fix with a deep cleaning?

    1. That depends. If you have really long teeth roots than perhaps you may be able to keep your teeth longer. You need a complete dental exam, x-rays and a workup for proper treatment plan and long-term maintenance.

  8. My 85 year old mom has a tooth loose top front. Dental surgeon gave her antibiotics and three days later bone into gum/jaw then eight weeks later they told her she come back for check up and put post in then tooth. I’ve heard this entire procedure takes many months. Does this sound right?

  9. Hi Dr, last Thursday I had all my teeth removed and a bone graft put in on the top, the pain has subsided but I still get the throbing pain and the denture I received I can’t wear as yet cause they hurt, I have tons of stitches, my question sorry took so long to get to but is this normal??? I had a very bad experience as a child with the dentist

  10. I had two teeth removed #14 and 15 almost six months ago due to a bad root canal where the roots were severed, infected and in my sinus, therefore causing a chronic sinus infection. I am getting an implant in #14 but not 15. It seems as though 15 was infected for many years. I am still having sinus issues and have been to 4 different ENT’s who have said I don’t have sinus disease.i am still having pain, redness and pieces of bone coming out of where 15 was extracted and I have a bitter taste that seems to be coming from that area. I had a sinus CT and it said there may be root remnants left in my sinus. I have been back to the oral surgeon 4 times saying it doesn’t feel right. He says nothing is wrong. I still feel like I did when I had the tooth infection. Is it normal after 6 months to feel like that?

    1. This is not normal. I would suggest you have the skin red by an oral and maxillofacial radiologist rather than just your surgeon or ENT physician. Sometimes in some unique cases I will have a radiologist read it because they can pick up unusual things.

      Perhaps it is another tooth like to number 13?

      The gum should be complete pink and fully healed if not it should be reopened.

  11. I have to have 4 teeth extracted in my upper jaw and was looking to replace the front #8 with an implant and do a partial for the others # 3, 14, 15. The procedure is going to cost about 10,000. Should I consider fixed dentures instead. I don’t think the other teeth on my upper are in that great of shape. What is the typical cost of fixed dentures?

  12. I had one front lower tooth extracted last year without any bone grafting done by my dentist. The tooth beside that started getting lose, moved to another dentist only to be told i am going through advanced periodontics. Now got another 3 tooth extracted and bone graft done in that area, wore my temporary for a week until my 1st post-op. Noticed there was already a hole developing w/sutures still around the site where the 1st tooth was extracted last year…Asked the doc at the periodontics office (my doctor wasn’t working that day), said no issues. Couple of days later was passing my, again showed it to the Nurse, she also seems to think its fine. A week later now, sutures gone and hole clearly visible, the walls gone concave, any cold water in that area get a tingy feeling. Is this case of bone graft failure?

  13. I had my tooth pulled after a failed root canal on 2/26 . It’s the upper second to last on my left. They put in cadaver bone that was like a course wet sand and stitched it up and removed the stitches on 3/4.

    They said it was healing well but still had some more healing to do; the taste in my mouth prior to stitches being removed and now is honestly like a dead animal – is this normal, if so, how long do you think it will last – I am avoiding people because if the smell is anything like the taste I can’t imagine being on the receiving end of my breath.



    1. this is not typical. I would advise that you have another follow-up appointment with your dentist. You may have a low-grade bone infection.

    2. I had this as well and its an infection of some sort, usually what they’ll do is give you an antibacterial mouthwash type deal and just swish day and night day and night until it subsides, if not then there might be a bigger problem but I doubt it can’t be fixed… Usually takes about… Maybe two weeks max for it to go away

  14. Hello Doc,
    I have had my teeth implant around 8 weeks ago and in total I had 7 teeth implants. Also my front teeth have been rubbed/scratched and have put artificial denture. I am having too much extra saliva problem and have to spit at least 40 – 50 times in a day. Is it because of titanium implants or artificial denture. Please reply.

    1. The excessive saliva is due to your adaptation to the dentures. It is not uncommon for this to occur with acrylic denture teeth especially if it covers your palate. I’m hoping you’re having a fixed bridge on your dental implants such as individual teeth, Bridges or a full arch restoration like the Prettau dental implant bridge

      Ramsey Amin DDS

  15. Dr Amin, Had a real hard time with my two implants. During the three month wait healing time I experienced a lot of discomfort. Had to be on antibiotics for several weeks. About two weeks before I got the okay to have the implants (teeth) put in I noticed a salty taste in my mouth/lips. I asked my oral surgeon and dentist if this could be a reaction to titanium implants, they both said no! It has now been three weeks since I got my teeth and I am experiencing some minor discomfort in that area (tooth 13 and 14) when I chew. Yesterday I noticed on the side of my gum (outside near cheek) a small puffy area and very tender when I push with my finger. Still have this awful salty taste too. What do you think is going on?? Also I should add I have been on prednisone for over a year due to a medical condition. I know it can slow the healing process.

    1. Hello Donna,

      It sounds like you has a dental infection regardless of you being on antibiotics.
      I would have a dentist take a culture of the area and sent it to a lab to determine what type of antibiotic is going to be effective to treat this infection. This generally takes a few days to get results back. At that point the antibiotic could be changed to see if that helps. Not all infections are responsive to antibiotics. If the infection is allowed to continue you may lose the dental implants and the associated bone.

      Some people get bone loss without any reason whatsoever. The salty taste is a little bit strange and is not likely related to the actual titanium.

      Prednisone can also be a factor in developing a dental infection and slowing are healing as you had mentioned.

      Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
      Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
      Fellow-American Academy of Implant Dentistry

  16. HiDr Amin,I had a socket bone graph after infected tooth extraction 4 and a half months ago,I had a checkup and dr.said I could go ahead and set up surgery forthe implant,I am having thick excessive saliva and the center of the graph still doesnt look completely closed,dr. said exray showed bone grew ,but Im concerned that the gum didnt completely close over graph,Does this sound right to continue on with implant?Thankyou,Laura

    1. Hi Laura,

      What you are experiencing is not uncommon. The saliva part is probably not connected.

      Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
      Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
      Fellow-American Academy of Implant Dentistry

      1. Dr.Amin,With the gums not completely closed do you think I should continue with implant,My cheek feels funny on that side,Im worried I have some sort or infection that he doesnt see(maybe in jaw)

  17. Hi Dr.Amin,I had and extraction and bonegraph of a rootcanal tooth #30 with crack,chronic infection and boneloss 6 weeks ago(I believe a difficult extraction) and had antibiotics (precaution)right after extraction-One week post op stitches were taken out and I started getting a strange salty taste and a lot of salivaAt about 2 weeks post op the membrane was falling off,and there was a lump under where tooth was(on cheek side)Dr said he didnt see any actice infection but put my on another antibiotic.About 5 weeks post op went back to Dr. because still have bad taste and can see white of bone coming out of socket-Dr. said that it was extra bonegraph that may work its way out and didnt see active infection(He did give me another antibiotic script that I could fill at my discretion)Which I didnt fill-I wasnt sure if I should.Could you please tell me if this is all normal?Thank you Laura

    1. Hi Laura,

      What you are experiencing is within the range of normal. Most socket bone grafts for dental implants heal fast, but a few are slow like yours. I would definitely take the antibiotics as directed. It will heal but it sound like yours will take much longer than normal. Quit smoking if you are a smoker.

      😉 Dr. Amin.

    2. Hi I had a cracked root canal in my upper right jaw removed and the titanium base put in for a implant, however I now have a really bad taste in my mouth from the mucus is that normal is smells really bad .. I have never had this taste or smell kinda rotten.. but no pain should I be worried it’s been 4 days since ..

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About Ramsey Amin, DDS

Dr. Ramsey Amin has extensive experience in surgical and restorative implant dentistry. As one of only less than 400 Diplomates of the American Board of Oral Implantology/ Implant Dentistry (ABOI/ID) he is considered an expert, and board-certified in dental implants. He is a former instructor at the UCLA School of Dentistry.