Erie, Harborcreek and Millcreek, PA
Proper jawbone support is essential to maintain a healthy smile. But, unfortunately, many people are unaware that their jawbone is compromised, which occurs as a result of gum disease and tooth loss. Nearly half of American adults have gum disease, an infection that erodes the jawbone, and having a tooth extracted. As if having a tooth extracted wasn’t enough, the jawbone diminishes even more after the tooth is pulled. Dr. Albert Starr, a general dentist in Erie, offers bone grafting as a way to rebuild the jawbone, creating a stable foundation for dentures or dental implants. Find out what bone grafting is and why you might need it.
What Are Bone Grafts?
A bone graft usually involves using harvested animal bone to place under the gum to rebuild bone levels. It’s a relatively simple process with minimal discomfort. The dentist begins by making sure that your gums are numb, and then makes a tiny incision to access the jawbone. The bone graft material is then placed, covered by a natural membrane that holds the material in place. The final step involves Dr. Starr suturing the incision. It takes at least six months for the bone graft to fuse to your existing jawbone. After the procedure, the incision site may be a little tender. Still, you should be able to resume your usual activities without any downtime, although you may be advised to avoid heavy lifting or bending at the waist for a few days.
Why Are Bone Grafts Necessary?
Bone grafts reconstruct bone structure in an area where deterioration has occurred. Commonly used for patients who have significant bone loss, bone grafts make it possible for patients to receive dental implants who might otherwise not have been a viable candidate. Also, bone grafts may be helpful for denture wearers that have problems wearing their false teeth due to a lack of support on their upper and lower boney ridge.
Who Should Get a Bone Graft?
If you have missing teeth and are interested in dental implants, you may need a bone graft. The only way to know for certain is to receive a consultation with Dr. Starr to determine your eligibility. Dental implants generally are successful, as long as there is enough healthy jawbone to support the implant itself. Through dental x-rays, Dr. Starr can tell if you will need a bone graft before receiving dental implants. Jawbone loss begins when gum disease isn’t managed properly, or after a tooth is extracted. If you had a tooth extracted years ago, and now are considering a dental implant, it is possible that you may need a bone graft. The good thing is that it is a simple procedure with minimal discomfort. You just have to be willing to be patient because it will take up to six months before the jawbone is ready to receive the dental implant.
Bone Grafts in Erie
Poor bone density doesn’t have to deny you from being able to restore your smile and chewing ability. If you would like to learn more about bone grafts, or find out if you need one, contact Dr. Starr, a dental implant dentist in Erie. Find out more by calling (814) 825-2615 to schedule your consultation today.
Laser Dentistry of Erie proudly serves our patients in the areas of Erie, Harborcreek, and Millcreek, PA.