Pain After Bone Graft Surgery on Molars?


Maria asks:

I had bone graft surgery done almost 2 weeks ago on my upper and lower right molars. I have been in severe pain since the third day. My dentist said it is highly unlikely that it is a dry socket because the area is filled with bone, but from what I've read it sounds like that is what I have, complete with ear pain. Is there any way to treat the dry socket without completely removing the graft? And, am I still in the normal range for healing time after a surgery like this? Any insight would be extremely helpful.

Answered by: Dr. Cheryl Goren Robins

Millburn, NJ

Hi Maria,

Sometimes after a large surgery such as grafting, there is swelling and inflammation which can alter the patient’s bite. This can show up as pain extending back to the ear until the swelling resolves and the bite returns to normal. Patients who clench and grind their teeth can be more susceptible to this occurrence. Swelling usually peaks at about day 3-4 and can extend up to 2-3 weeks until completely resolved.

If your pain does not subside, though, I highly recommend that you go back to see your dentist, so that he/she can evaluate the area further.

As for dry socket, that is usually accompanied by a bad taste and odor in the mouth which you are not describing.

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Expert Advice and Comments
Nancy's picture

recent dental implants

I had 10 uppper extractions and bone replacement on May 14, 2010. I healed very nicely. On August 27, 2010 beginning at 8:00am I had 9 upper implants and panoramic x-rays completed before and after the procedure. The procedure lasted approximately 2 1/2 hours. I am going to reputable periodontist that specializes in dental implants. I am on antibiotics and using Peridex in the morning and at bedtime. Six times a day I am rinsing with warm salt water. Is it normal to still be experiencing moderate pain on the upper left towards the back? There is a little swelling, but not allot. I am using ice packs. When I take the Advil it subsides for a few hours, but then comes back. I'm not hurting anywhere else. Should I be concerned or is this just part of the healing process? And if so how long should pain be present?
Thank you.

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