What Is Ridge Augmentation?
Ridge augmentation is a procedure that helps recreate the natural contour of the jaw bone and gums that may have been lost due to bone loss from a tooth extraction, tumor removal, or other reason.
The bone that surrounds the teeth’s roots is called the alveolar ridge. When a tooth is removed, an empty socket is left in the alveolar ridge bone. This empty socket may heal on its own, filling in with bone and being covered by tissue. If the bone is not stimulated to stay there or tooth loss has occurred many years ago, bone deterioration will occur over time, resulting in a deficient alveolar ridge. At times when a tooth is removed and it is a difficult extraction requiring significant bone removal, the bone fill or healing may not be sufficient to rebuild the bone, resulting in a loss of contour of the bone.
Rebuilding and/or maintaining the original height and width of the alveolar ridge is not always medically necessary but may be required for dental implant placement or for aesthetic purposes. Dental implants require bone to support their structure, and a ridge augmentation can help rebuild this lost bone to accommodate the implant.
How Is Ridge Augmentation Accomplished?
Ridge augmentation is accomplished by placing bone graft material in the area of the bone defect or void. The gum is placed over the graft site and secured with sutures. Dr. Gulati may choose to use a space-maintaining product over the top of the graft to facilitate new bone growth and secure with sutures. He may also suggest the use of PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) or PRF (Platelet-Rich Fraction) to enhance bone growth and/or tissue healing. Once the bone graft has healed after a period of four months, the alveolar ridge can be prepared for dental implant placement.
A ridge augmentation procedure can be accomplished in the office under local anesthesia. However, for improved patient comfort, Dr. Gulati can offer some form of sedation: nitrous oxide or IV sedation. He will discuss these options with you before the procedure.