Ridge augmentation is a common surgical procedure that helps recreate the natural contour of the gums. Often, after a tooth is removed, the bone in the jaw will begin to deteriorate and recede. The height and width of the socket, which was supported by the tooth, will begin to shrink after the tooth is removed. Many patients will eventually develop an indentation in the gums or jawbone where the tooth used to be. Restoring the original height and width of the socket is not usually medically necessary. However, placing a dental implant for aesthetic purposes may be necessary. If a person’s bone has deteriorated too much, placing a dental implant may not be possible. Dental ridge augmentation in our Concord or Lexington, MA offices can prepare patients for dental implants.
Ridge Augmentation in Lexington, MA
There are two types of ridge augmentation procedures: soft and hard tissue. Occasionally, both types of ridge augmentation are performed at once.
Soft tissue grafts are usually done to improve the esthetics and cleanability of the site. Before the procedure, the area will be numbed. An incision is made to expose the site, and a soft tissue graft is obtained either from the palate (roof of the mouth) or a soft tissue substitute. The graft is then inserted into the area receiving the graft, which is then secured with stitches.
Hard tissue grafts are done to recreate adequate bone contouring before dental implant placement. Before the procedure, the area will be numbed. An incision is made, and the gum is lifted away to expose the bone defect. A bone graft obtained from another site within the mouth or cadaver bone is placed in the area receiving the graft and secured using titanium screws. The area is then closed with stitches. Healing time varies by patient and the size of the area repaired but usually lasts no longer than six months.
Ridge Preservation (Socket Preservation)
Soft tissue and bone can begin to collapse when one or more teeth are extracted from the mouth. Without the tooth root to stimulate it, the surrounding jawbone will almost immediately collapse and shrink. If there is too much bone loss, it may be impossible to place dental implants. It may become more expensive, invasive, time-consuming, and uncomfortable to replace the lost bone. Ridge (or Socket) preservation is a bone grafting procedure that rebuilds and stabilizes bone where an extraction has left an empty, weakened socket.
Ridge preservation procedures begin with the removal of the tooth. The doctor will do so carefully not to disturb existing bone in the socket. Next, the doctor will insert a specialized bone-grafting product. This product can be an autogenous graft, allograft, or alloplast/xenograft. The bone-grafting material is designed to build and regrow bone in the socket. After placing it, the grafting material will be stabilized with stitches and/or a membrane. Healing time is approximately 3-5 months before a dental implant can be placed.
Ridge preservation can essentially minimize bone loss after removing one or more teeth. Leaving the socket empty after extraction will lead to deteriorating bone in the jaw, making it more difficult to place an implant later.
Ridge preservation also:
- Provides minimally invasive care with minimal discomfort
- Prepares the site for future placement of a dental implant without additional grafting
- Provides cost-effective care, better than waiting to have the grafting procedure later
- Preserves a natural-looking smile
Prepare For Implant Treatment
Make sure that you’re prepared for restorative care. Contact Concord Lexington Periodontics for a consultation today. Call our Concord office at 978.391.6081 or our Lexington office at 781.384.5892.