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 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 after teeth are removed.
Rebuilding the original height and width of the alveolar ridge may not be 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 Oral Surgery Accomplished?
A ridge augmentation is accomplished by placing bone graft material at the site of bone deficiency. It is often done after the tooth is removed, the bone has healed, and bone loss or resorption have occurred. Next, the gum tissue is placed over the socket and secured with sutures. Dr. Lawson 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 site has healed, the alveolar ridge can be prepared for dental implant placement.
A ridge augmentation procedure can be performed in Dr. Lawson’s office under local anesthesia with or without general anesthesia or IV sedation.