Bone Loss and Dental Implants
Forty Fort, PA
Whenever possible, we always strive to preserve your natural teeth, rather than extracting them. For one reason or another, though, sometimes extraction can be the best thing for the health of the rest of your teeth. Extraction comes with its own risks, and one of the most concerning is bone loss. That is why here at Dr. Musto Periodontics & Dental Implants we offer the innovative ridge augmentation procedure to help you keep your jaw healthy even after an extraction.
What Ridge Augmentation Is
A ridge augmentation is a specialized type of bone graft. After the extraction of a tooth, the bone surrounding the empty spot known as the “socket” will begin to decay. This is because your jawbone requires constant stimulation to stay healthy and strong. Without that stimulation, you start to lose bone volume - up to 25% in the first year of having a missing tooth!
Unfortunately, a ridge augmentation cannot permanently halt this deterioration, but it can significantly slow it down by filling the socket with bone graft material. This not only maintains your jawline and gums so your facial features do not change, but also makes it easier to later receive a dental implant. Dental implants are one of the best ways to replace missing teeth, and are the only way to permanently stop bone loss.
Are You a Good Candidate for Ridge Augmentation?
While ridge augmentations are highly recommended for any patient considering dental implants, anyone who plans on having a tooth extracted should look at the benefits of this treatment. Adequate bone volume is a must to sufficiently anchor dental implants, but every patient should be conscious of the advantages of maintaining healthy bone mass. Without a ridge augmentation to help slow bone decay, your facial features will begin to collapse in on themselves, dramatically changing the shape of your face.
What to Expect During a Ridge Augmentation
We typically perform a ridge augmentation immediately following a tooth extraction, placing the selected graft material in the exposed socket and then suturing gum tissue over it. We may use either local anesthesia or sedation techniques, so the procedure should be completely free of any discomfort. Healing time from a ridge augmentation can vary, but usually takes several months. We will give you recovery instructions particular to your unique needs, but expect to be on a diet of liquids and very soft foods for at least a week or more right after the augmentation. Once you are fully healed, we can prepare your newly augmented alveolar ridge to receive your dental implant.
Why Wait to Restore Your Smile?
Just because you have been told before that you may not be a good candidate for dental implant technology does not mean that you do not have other options at your disposal. A ridge augmentation can help not only maintain the health of your jaw, but also make it possible for you to receive a dental implant in the future. If you are interested in learning more, Dr. Musto Periodontics & Dental Implants can help you decide if a ridge augmentation is right for you. Call (570) 338-5757 to schedule a consultation!