What is a ridge augmentation?
A ridge augmentation is a common dental procedure performed after a tooth extraction that helps to recreate the natural contour of the gums and jaw bone that may have been lost due to bone loss from a tooth extraction or other 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 behind in the alveolar ridge bone. When a tooth is removed the bone surrounding the socket breaks and it does not 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 always medically necessary but may be required for a dental implant replacement or for aesthetic purposes. Dental implants need bone to support their structure and a ridge augmentation can help to rebuild this bone to accommodate the implant.
How is a ridge augmentation accomplished?
A ridge augmentation is accomplished by placing bone graft material in the tooth socket. It is often done immediately after the tooth is removed to avoid the need for a second procedure later. Next, the gum tissue is placed over the socket and secured with sutures. Our oral surgeons may choose to use a space-maintaining product over the top of the graft to facilitate new bone growth. Once the socket has healed, the alveolar ridge can be prepared for dental implant placement.
A ridge augmentation is typically performed by our oral surgeons under local anesthesia, however other sedation options are available.