Ridge augmentation, also known as bone grafting or bone regeneration, is a common dental procedure used to restore the gums and jawbone after a tooth extraction, a missing tooth for an extended period, gum disease, or trauma that may have caused bone loss in the area.
During a tooth extraction, the alveolar ridge of the jawbone — the area that surrounds the roots of the teeth — can experience bone loss. When a tooth is removed, it leaves behind an empty socket, which commonly heals on its own. Sometimes the bone around the socket breaks, leading to eventual deterioration of the socket. In most cases, it is not necessary to rebuild the ridge unless you have teeth missing from birth or trauma, in which case, ridge augmentation makes dental implant placement possible.
The ridge augmentation procedure involves using a combination of products that includes: a substrate material made of allograft, autograft or zero graft, collagen, and sometimes AlloDerm, to help with soft tissue defects. This combination approach helps to build bone and gums in an ideal manner so that a dental implant can be successfully placed. Ridge augmentation improves the appearance of the mouth and increases the chances for success with implants.
Like any surgery, there are possible risks and complications associated with the ridge augmentation procedure. Some of the possible risks include:
- Pain or discomfort in the gums
- Damage to the nearby tissue or nerves
- Mild to severe swelling in the gums
To mitigate these potential issues, a detailed treatment plan utilizing advanced Conebeam Computer Tomogrophy (CBCT) is employed so that all of the vital structures are visualized in a virtual surgery prior to the actual surgery.
This procedure can be completed with IV sedation in the office, but a local anesthetic is often sufficient to keep the patient comfortable. After the procedure is finished, your surgeon will give you a detailed recovery plan for you to follow to aid in thorough healing.