What is a Ridge Augmentation?
A ridge augmentation is a common dental procedure often performed following a tooth extraction. This procedure helps recreate the natural contour of the gums and jaw that may have been lost due to bone loss from a tooth extraction, or for another reason.
The alveolar ridge of the jaw is the bone that surrounds the roots of teeth. When a tooth is removed an empty socket is left in the alveolar ridge bone. Usually this empty socket will heal on its own, filling with bone and tissue. Sometimes when a tooth is removed the bone surrounding the socket is unable to heal on its own and maintain its normal volume. The previous height and width of the socket will continue to deteriorate.
Rebuilding the original height and width of the alveolar ridge is not always medically necessary, but may be required for dental implant placement or for aesthetic purposes. Dental implants require bone to support their structure and a ridge augmentation can help rebuild this bone to accommodate the implant.
How is the procedure Accomplished?
A ridge augmentation is accomplished by placing bone graft material in the tooth socket. This is done at the same time the tooth is removed to avoid the need for a second procedure later. If the gum tissue is unable to be closed with sutures over the bone grafted site, then it is necessary to use a membrane to cover the bone graft and and facilitate the closure of the gum tissue for adequate healing. Once the socket has healed, the alveolar ridge can be prepared for dental implant placement. On occasion more width and height is required. In these selected cases Dr. Breese and Dr. Tracy will present to you what possible bone grafts can be used to obtain the necessary volume of bone for implant placement.
A ridge augmentation procedure may be performed in Dr. Breese and Dr. Tracy’s office under local anesthesia or with sedation.