Ridge Augmentation

What Is Ridge Augmentation?

Typically, the bone in the jaw will begin to deteriorate after a tooth removal.  Because the tooth is no longer there to provide support, the socket will begin to shrink.  It can eventually become simply an indentation instead of a socket.  Ridge augmentation is a procedure which can restore the natural shape of the gums.

Why Do I Need Ridge Augmentation?

Restoring the shape of the socket is not for medical purposes.  It may be necessary, though, in order to prepare the way for a dental implant.  It can also be something to restore the aesthetics of a patient’s smile.  In some cases a patient’s bone may have deteriorated to the point that a dental implant is impossible.

What Is The Procedure For Ridge Augmentation?

Two types of augmentation procedures can be performed. There is soft tissue augmentation and hard tissue augmentation.  At times both types of augmentation are performed as part of the same procedure.

A soft tissue graft has two main reasons.  One reason is to improve the cleansibility of the site. It can also be done to improve the aesthetics of the gum line.  After the area is numbed, an incision is made to receive the soft tissue graft.  The tissue either comes from the roof of the patient’s mouth or a soft tissue substitute.  Once the graft has been place in the incision, the incision is stitched closed.

A hard tissue graft is necessary to reconstruct adequate bone infrastructure to receive a dental implant.  Again, the area will be numbed.  An incision is made and the gum is pulled away to reveal the affected bone area.  A bone graft is obtained from the patient’s mouth or a cadaver bone and secured in place with titanium screws.  The area is stitched up.