Patients in Merrillville ask, “What is ridge augmentation and what techniques are used?”
A missing tooth is more than just a cosmetic problem. Without the root of a tooth to stimulate the jawbone and to keep it strong, the bone starts to weaken. The bone may be unable to support a dental implant. Although bridges or dentures can be used to replace missing teeth, neither mimics a tooth root nor addresses the deteriorating bone. In some cases, a bone graft or ridge augmentation may be necessary to ensure a successful implant placement. With offices in Merrillville and Valparaiso, Stevenson, Fairchild, & Surber OMS offer ridge augmentation techniques to rebuild the bone allowing more patients to have complete smiles.
Tooth loss causes a range of dental problems. The teeth may shift and without a root in place, bone loss at the site of the gap is common. As the bone deteriorates, the patient’s oral health decreases as well. Pain, problems with your remaining teeth, and a changed facial appearance can occur.
The alveolar ridge is the bone that surrounds and supports the roots of the teeth. When a tooth is lost or extracted, there is an empty socket in the bone. Ideally, when a tooth is lost or extracted, the socket fills in with bone and tissue on its own. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Sometimes when a tooth is removed, the bone around the tooth socket is thin, breaks down, or does not heal on its own. The bone will continue to deteriorate making it unable to support a dental implant. When this occurs, ridge augmentation helps recreate the natural contour of the gums and bone.
Bone loss in the alveolar ridge is common after tooth loss and can compromise implant placement. Trauma, disease, and infections can also cause bone deficiencies. Dental procedures such as bone grafting can be used to reconstruct alveolar ridge deficiencies. Although it may sound complex, a bone graft in dentistry is a routine, predictable procedure to protect your oral health.
What is ridge augmentation?
Reconstructing the alveolar ridge to its original height and width is not always critical but it may be needed for successful implant placement or for aesthetic purposes. Dental implants require adequate bone structure to support the base of the implant. An implant is a post precisely positioned in place of the missing tooth. When topped with an abutment and crown, the end result functions and looks like a natural tooth. A ridge augmentation helps rebuild the bone necessary to support the implant.
Depending on the patient’s need, ridge augmentation may be recommended at the following times:
- During gum infection treatment
- At the same time as extractions to avoid bone loss
- When traditional dentures no longer fit properly or are rubbing sore spots
- If bone loss is contributing to a sunken facial appearance
Ridge augmentation techniques
A ridge augmentation is a common dental procedure to reshape and resize the alveolar ridge. It is often performed in preparation for a dental implant or restoration. Ridge augmentation may be localized so that only a particular socket or area is restored, or it may involve the entire ridge. To augment or restore the entire ridge, the same procedures may be used over a more extensive area.
Considered an oral surgery, ridge augmentation involves the placement of bone graft material in the socket or deficient area. A bone graft uses a laboratory-created sample, or a sample obtained from the patient depending on the patient’s need and procedure. Bone grafts stimulate new bone growth. Placing bone graft material into the tooth socket also prevents bone resorption and preserves the height and width of the alveolar ridge. Gum tissue is placed over the treatment site and is secured with sutures. This procedure improves and strengthens the jawbone to allow for implant placement.
This procedure is performed in the comfort of our office under local anesthesia. A soothing sedative may be used upon request. The treatment site is given time to heal. Once healed, dental implants can be placed to restore the smile. The implants are precisely placed and given time to bond with the bone. This forms the foundation of a sturdy dental restoration.
To learn more about ridge augmentation techniques and dental implants, contact the team at Stevenson, Fairchild, & Surber OMS. Call the office at (219) 600-5797 in Merrillville or (219) 307-4382 in Valparaiso.Back to Ridge Augmentation Page