What is Ridge Augmentation?
A ridge augmentation is a common dental procedure performed 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.
Rebuilding the original height and width of the alveolar ridge is not 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 Ridge Augmentation Accomplished?
A ridge augmentation is accomplished by placing bone graft material at the site where the bone has deteriorated. Next, gum tissue is placed over the bone graft and secured with sutures. Drs. Rutledge, Le or Bradley may choose to use a space-maintaining membrane product over the top of the bone graft to help restore the height and width of the space 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 is typically performed in Drs. Rutledge, Le or Bradley’s office under local anesthesia. Some patients may request sedative medication in addition to local anesthesia.