What is a Ridge Augmentation?
A ridge augmentation is a common dental procedure often performed following a tooth extraction to help recreate the natural contour of the gums and jaw that may have been lost due to bone loss as a result of 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 this alveolar 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 resorbs or shrinks instead of healing properly on its own. In this instance, the previous height and width of the socket will continue to deteriorate.
Rebuilding the original height and width of the alveolar ridge is necessary if one is considering placement of a dental implant in this location, now or in the future, and may also be necessary for esthetic/appearance 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 Oral Surgery 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 gently closed over the socket and secured with sutures. Doctors Nail and Dombrowski may choose to use a space-maintaining product over the top of the graft to help restore the height and width of the space created by the tooth and bone loss, and into which new bone should grow. Once the socket has healed, the alveolar ridge can be prepared for dental implant placement.
A ridge augmentation procedure is typically performed in our office under local anesthesia or intravenous sedation, depending on the demands of the procedure.