Ridge augmentation is a surgical procedure that might also be referred to as ridge preservation. Often performed immediately after a tooth extraction, this oral procedure is designed to recreate the patient’s natural gum line and jaw that could have been changed due to the extraction or for a different reason. Ridge augmentation is just one of the several specialty dental services you’ll find Lovett Dental Missouri City can provide for you and your family.

How a Tooth Extraction Affects Gum and Jaw Healthdoctor walks patient through the process of ridge augmentation

The jaw bone that surrounds the roots of teeth is called the alveolar ridge. Tooth extraction leaves a space within the alveolar ridge. In many cases, the socket remains self-healing, with tissue and bone eventually filling the space.

However, in some instances, removing the tooth results in the loss of the bone that surrounds it. Left to its own devices, the empty socket’s height and width will continue to erode.

To prepare the space for the placement of a dental implant, ridge augmentation is often necessary. When a tooth is extracted, the underlying bone starts to deteriorate. In just one year, about 25 percent of the bone’s tissue will be reabsorbed. By three years after the tooth extraction, patients can experience bone and tissue loss of between 40 and 60 percent unless steps are taken to protect it.

Because a sufficient amount of bone is necessary for the dental implant to be supported and successful, ridge augmentation is often used to rebuild this area. Sometimes this procedure is also required because of aesthetic reasons. Regardless of the goal of ridge augmentation, the sooner it is accomplished, the better it is for the patient’s oral health.

How is Ridge Augmentation Performed?

Usually, ridge augmentation is performed at the same time as tooth extraction. This means that the patient does not need to come back for a second procedure later to address the empty socket.

First, the oral surgeon places bone graft material into the space left by the extracted tooth. The gum tissue is then placed over the socket before being secured with sutures. In many cases, new bone growth is encouraged with a specific barrier membrane made for that purpose.

After a healing period, the alveolar ridge can be prepared for the next stage of dental work, if applicable. For many patients, this means the placement of a dental implant.

The length of the healing process can vary greatly from patient to patient. It could take as little as a few months for some people, while the healing period for others could be as long as a year. Factors such as diabetes and other health conditions or smoking can increase the time it takes for the bone to heal and grow.

Ridge Splitting: What Patients Need to Know

In some cases, a patient’s natural alveolar ridge bone might not be sufficient to support nearby teeth and gums. While tooth extraction is one reason for this type of deterioration, it can also occur because of disease or aging.

If the patient’s jaw is not high or wide enough to support dental implants, a ridge expansion might be necessary. During this procedure, the alveolar ridge bone is split with surgical instruments before bone graft material is inserted. Sometimes, the implant is installed at this time, while other patients must heal first.

Find the Ridge Augmentation You Need at Lovett Dental Missouri City

Lovett Dental Missouri City provides ridge augmentation services among our other specialty services. Our team offers six specialty care forms to meet all your dental needs as a multidisciplinary dentistry practice. If you need orthodontist, maxillofacial, pediatric, endodontist, or dental surgeon services, contact us today at 281.346.9597, or contact us online for more information or schedule an appointment.