What is a Ridge Augmentation?
A ridge augmentation is a common dental procedure often performed following a tooth extraction. This procedure helps to restore the natural contour of the gums and bone that may have been lost as a result of a tooth extraction or other reasons.
The alveolar ridge of the jaw is the bone that surrounds and supports 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 breaks, and it unable to heal on its own. The previous height and width of the socket will continue to deteriorate.
Rebuilding the original height and width of the alveolar ridge is not 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 this procedure accomplished?
A ridge augmentation is accomplished by placing bone graft material along the alveolar ridgeor within the tooth socket (known as a “socket preservation” procedure). It is often done immediately after the tooth is removed, to avoid the need for a second procedure later. Next, the gum tissue is closed over the socket and secured with sutures. Your surgeon may choose to use a space-maintaining product over the top of the graft to helpre-establish the height and width of the space created by the tooth and bone loss; new bone shouldthen grow into thisspace. Once the socket has healed, thesite can be prepared for dental implant placement.
A ridge augmentation procedure is typically performed by Drs. Tentinger, Hutchinson,or French inthe office under local anesthesia. Some patients may also elect to receive intravenous sedation as well.