When you need to have a dental procedure done that is unfamiliar to you, we, at Widner Elite Oral Surgery and Dental Implants, can answer your questions and explain the benefits. Some of the inquiries we receive concern the dental process known as ridge augmentation. The following information will give you a better idea about how the procedure works.
What Is Ridge Augmentation?
A ridge augmentation is an oral procedure performed often after a tooth has been extracted and the socket has healed. Frequently, an augmentation is scheduled when we want to place an implant. The purpose of the procedure is to restore the contour of the jaw and gums, which often deteriorate if a tooth is missing and has not been immediately replaced.
To understand how the process works, you have to know something about the anatomy of the alveolar ridge. This part of the jaw represents the bone that surrounds the teeth’s roots. When a tooth is extracted, or is missing, an empty socket is left, which, in some instances, causes the socket to deteriorate or shrink in size. When this happens, we need to rebuild the alveolar ridge to restore its former height and width. Because a dental implant needs to be supported by the bone in the alveolar ridge, we need to perform ridge augmentation surgery.
Can You Preserve the Alveolar Ridge Immediately After an Extraction?
We can maintain the alveolar ridge by performing a ridge preservation. This is done by placing graft material into the socket right after a tooth is removed. When we do this, we do not need to perform another procedure later. During the procedure, we place the gum tissue over the socket and sew it with sutures. We may use a resorbable product over the graft to promote new bone growth. We may also use the regenerative abilities of platelet rich plasma (PRP) or platelet rich fibrin (PRP). Once the alveolar ridge heals, we are able to place an implant.
When Is Ridge Splitting Performed?
Ridge splitting is another form of ridge augmentation, and may be performed immediately before an implant is placed. If the alveolar ridge bone has lost density, a ridge expansion is recommended to take care of a jaw that cannot support an implant. Usually the bone is not high or wide enough. To increase the ridge of the jaw, we split the bone surgically. Afterwards, the bone grafting material is added and the site is allowed to heal before we place an implant. In some instances, we place the implant when we split the alveolar ridge.
Am I A Good Candidate for Ridge Augmentation Surgery?
If we want to place implants and your jawbone cannot hold them, we will usually recommend that you have a ridge augmentation done or some type of modification to support your implants. You can learn more about this type of procedure when you contact our office and schedule an appointment. If you would like to have implants placed, but you have experienced bone loss, we can help you regain your smile. Call Widner Elite Oral Surgery and Dental Implants at (737) 309-4351 for further information about the steps you need to follow to have a ridge augmentation performed.