A dental implant is only possible if your jaw has enough healthy bone to support it and anchor it securely to the jawbone. However, if you have experienced gum disease, severe injury to your teeth or jaw, or tooth loss, the quantity, and quality of your bone becomes compromised.
People who have had tooth extractions or have worn dentures for a long time may find that their bone density has become too low to support dental implants. To solve this problem, we at Tualatin Family & Cosmetic Dentistry offer ridge augmentation surgery.
What is Ridge Augmentation?
The alveolar ridge is one of the two bone ridges in the upper and lower jaws. The upper ridge is located between the upper teeth and the hard palate, while the lower ridge is located behind, the lower teeth. These ridges carry the sockets of the teeth, which can be felt easily by the tongue.
When a tooth is removed, the socket in the ridge becomes hollow. Usually, this socket will heal itself, filling with bone and tissues. Other times, the bone surrounding the socket is reabsorbed by the body. As a result, the height and width of the tooth socket will continue to decrease over time.
Restoring the original density of the alveolar ridge may be required before placing a dental implant. This can be done with the help of ridge augmentation.
A ridge augmentation is a common and minimally invasive dental surgery that is performed after tooth extraction. Ridge augmentation helps recreate the natural shape of your jaw and gum that may have become distorted due to bone resorption, following tooth loss.
If you are considering a dental implant, we recommend placing bone graft or a synthetic recombinant protein material in the socket to help retain the width and height of the alveolar ridge. The bone graft will help regenerate the bone structure in the jaw, prevent bone loss after tooth loss, and preserve the alveolar ridge. Two of its biggest advantage is that it prevents distorting the shape of the mouth and allows dental implant placement in the future.
Ridge Augmentation Procedure
At Tualatin Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Emerson Rowley, DMD performs ridge augmentation surgery usually under local anesthesia.
The surgery is done immediately after tooth extraction. We will first make an incision in your gum to expose the bone and then attach the bone graft material to the exposed bone. The graft also contains collagen or protein that help accelerate bone growth. The incision is then sutured closed.
As the new bone grows, it replaces the graft material. Depending on the health of your jaw, it can take 4 to 9 months to make enough bone to support a dental implant.
Ridge Augmentation Surgery Aftercare
Most ridge augmentation surgery is an uncomplicated process, but there are several ways you can ensure its complete success:
If you feel like the bleeding, pain, or swelling has increased, call us at (503) 878-7474 immediately so that we can figure out the cause of the problem and fix it.