A guide to grafting treatment to build up bone and prepare your mouth for dental implants

A guide to grafting treatment to build up bone and prepare your mouth for dental implants

At Creo Dentistry in Marysville, Washington, we blend personalized, relationship-based care with knowledge of the latest techniques and technologies that modern dentistry has to offer. So, you have advanced treatments available from the team that you know and trust. 

Bone grafting is just one of many advanced surgical capabilities provided by Dr. Dan Hwang. However, this process is notable because it offers a way for patients with bone loss to benefit from the “gold standard” in tooth replacement: dental implants. This process is primarily used to maintain and preserve healthy bone following dental extractions and stabilize the jaw by building the bony foundation. This latter application may be recommended to correct congenital or traumatic deficiencies or following bone loss due to gum disease or sustained tooth loss. 

The importance of healthy, supportive bone 

Tooth replacement methods that use dental implants require robust and healthy bone in the jaw due to the design of the implant. Each implant is strategically placed in the jaw. The implant is made from a biocompatible metal, which naturally and safely integrates into the surrounding bone as part of the healing process. Once the implant is secured to the rest of the bone, it provides a foundation for the replacement tooth. After the tooth is attached, the implant functions like a root. 

To “root” or stabilize the replacement tooth properly, the implant must have sufficient bone in the jaw to support it. If not, the patient is either unsuitable for dental implant-retained crowns, bridges, or dentures. Or the new tooth will suffer from an “early-stage implant failure.” Early implant failures can also occur when the implant fails to integrate sufficiently to the supportive bone in the jaw. 

Bone grafting “basics”

Fortunately, at Creo Dentistry, we are equipped to offer pre-implant placement procedures that increase the odds of your implant successfully joining the bone. Treatments such as bone grafting also support the long-term health of your replacement teeth. 

Grafting in the medical world generally involves taking tissue from one part of the body and moving it to another part that could use augmentation. Dentists can also use other materials to build up bone that has been diminished over time due to processes such as bone loss. As with our muscles, if you don’t use the bone in your jaw (due to functions such as chewing food), then you lose it, and the bone shrinks. That often occurs when people have gaps in their smiles for a sustained period. For this reason, Dr. Hwang recommends tooth replacement sooner rather than later to preserve healthy bone. 

The process itself can be completed in a single visit, using a local anesthetic. Sedation methods are also available, as needed, to help patients relax. The procedure generally involves sterilizing the treatment area and covering the material (graft) with a membrane to protect the site as it heals. We will provide thorough instructions on care before and after treatment. The length of healing and bone regeneration depends on several factors, not limited to where the graft was placed and if you abstain from habits that interfere with healing (such as smoking). We will also monitor how well the area is healing during follow-up visits. 

To find out more about what to expect before, during, and after bone grafting and related procedures, schedule an appointment with Dr. Hwang. Call us at (360) 502-7217 today.