What is ridge augmentation?
Ridge augmentation is a common dental procedure often performed subsequent to tooth extraction. This procedure helps re-create the natural contour of the jaw and the gums, that may be adversely affected with the bone loss that follows a tooth extraction. Bone loss may also be a consequence of pathology (disease) within the jaw(s) or as a result of a traumatic injury to the area.
The alveolar ridge of the jaw is the bone that surrounds the roots of the teeth. When a tooth is removed an empty socket is left within the alveolar ridge bone. This empty socket will usually heal on its own, filling with bone and tissue. Sometimes when a tooth is removed, the bone surrounding the socket breaks down and is unable to 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 may be required for dental implant placement and/or for esthetic purposes. Dental implants require bone to support them and a ridge augmentation procedure can help rebuild this bone to accommodate the implant.
How is ridge augmentation accomplished?
Ridge augmentation is accomplished by placing bone graft material within the tooth socket. This procedure is often performed immediately after the tooth is removed to maintain the integrity of the socket and to preclude the future need for a second procedure. The gum tissue is subsequently placed over the socket and secured with sutures. Dr. Özcan may choose to use a space-maintaining device over the top of the graft to preserve the available space for the future implant and crown, while also preventing adjacent (neighbouring) teeth from migrating into this space. Once the socket has sufficiently healed, the alveolar ridge can be prepared for dental implant placement.
A ridge augmentation procedure is typically performed in Dr. Özcan’s office under intravenous sedation and local anesthesia.