What is a Ridge Augmentation?
A ridge Augmentation graft is a common surgical procedure often performed where there is a lack of bone where a tooth once resided. This procedure helps recreate the natural contour of the gums and jaw that may have been lost due to tooth loss, trauma, gum disease, or pathology.
The alveolar bone of the jaw is the bone that surrounds the roots of teeth. When a tooth is removed, an empty socket is left in the alveolar ridge bone. Usually this empty socket will heal on its own, filling with bone and tissue. Sometimes when a tooth is removed the bone surrounding the socket breaks and is unable to heal on its own, or sometimes there are other factors which may also impede the healing of the bone. The previous height and width of the socket will continue to deteriorate.
Rebuilding 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 bone to accommodate the implant.
How is Ridge Augmentation Accomplished?
A ridge augmentation is accomplished by placing bone graft material in the area of the defect. This may be done in a number of ways, but commonly is done with a block of bone that is secured to the underlying natural bone with a titanium screw. Next, the gum tissue is replaced over the surgical site and secured with sutures. Dr. Barton may choose another method in which a space-maintaining product over the top of a particulate graft is used to facilitate new bone growth. Once the grafted bone has matured, the alveolar ridge can be prepared for dental implant placement.
A ridge augmentation procedure is typically performed in Dr. Barton’s office under IV anesthesia.