An empty tooth socket left by a missing adult tooth can sometimes require extra care before placing a dental implant. For some patients, ridge augmentation may be recommended. This procedure is often done following a tooth extraction. Here’s a closer look at ridge augmentation and the benefits it can offer.
Why is Ridge Augmentation Needed?
When an adult tooth is missing due to an extraction or another cause, there is no longer a tooth root to stimulate the growth of the jawbone. For this and other reasons, the bone and tissue may begin to deteriorate. To help prevent deterioration and prepare for a successful dental implant procedure, ridge augmentation may be needed to:
- Create a stronger, healthier foundation and promote more successful bonding of the implant with the jawbone
- Restore the contour of the gum line and help ensure that the implant will be positioned in alignment with the other teeth
What Happens During Ridge Augmentation?
Ridge augmentation rebuilds the areas of your jaw called alveolar ridges, which support both your upper and lower teeth. During a ridge augmentation procedure, an oral surgeon places a regenerative bone grafting material into and around the empty tooth socket. This helps to stimulate bone growth.
Additionally, ridge augmentation goes a step further by placing gum tissue to rebuild the natural bone and gum line. This can help re-establish the bone’s width and height for a future dental implant. Healing time can vary up to several months or more, depending on each patient.
Benefits of Ridge Augmentation
Ridge augmentation is not needed for all dental implants. However, for people who are recommended for this procedure, benefits can include:
- A healthier jawbone and prevention of additional bone loss and tooth loss after an extraction
- A better foundation for dental implants, which can result in a better long-term outcome
- An improved, more youthful looking appearance with gums that more naturally frame your smile
Are There Risks with Ridge Augmentation?
While ridge augmentation has a high success rate, there can be some possible risks such as rejection of the graft and others. One way to minimize your risks is by choosing a skilled specialist who is experienced in performing this type of procedure. The oral and maxillofacial surgeons at the Oral & Facial Surgery Centers of Massachusetts offer a high level of care using advanced technology to help provide the best possible treatment.
Our services include a wide variety of specialized procedures so that you can find the care you need in one place. This includes the placement of dental implants following healing from ridge augmentation. From planning to recovery, our team is here to support you every step of the way.
Schedule an Appointment Today
To schedule an appointment or learn more about ridge augmentation and other services at the Oral & Facial Surgery Centers of Massachusetts, call us at one of our two convenient locations.