What is a Ridge Augmentation?
A ridge augmentation is a common dental procedure often performed following a tooth extraction 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 remains. As the empty socket heals on its own it partially fills with bone and tissue. The previous height and width of the socket will continue to shrink, resulting in a less-than-ideal site for a dental implant.
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 surrounding bone to support them, and a ridge augmentation can help rebuild this bone to accommodate the implant.
How is the Oral Surgery Accomplished?
A ridge augmentation is accomplished by placing bone graft material in the tooth socket. It is often done immediately after the tooth is removed ( same visit) to avoid the need for a second procedure later. Drs. Moore and Wong may choose to use a space-maintaining product over the top of the graft to help restore the height and width of the space created by the tooth and bone loss, and into which new bone will grow. Once the socket has healed, the alveolar ridge is ready for dental implant placement.
A ridge augmentation procedure is typically performed in Drs. Moore and Wong’s office under local anesthesia. Some patients may also request sedation or general anesthesia.