What is Ridge Augmentation?
Ridge augmentation is a common dental procedure often performed following a tooth extraction to help recreate the natural contour of the gums and jaw that may have been lost as a result of tooth extraction, or for another reason.
The alveolar ridge 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 it is unable to heal on its own. The previous height and width of the socket will continue to deteriorate.
Rebuilding the original height and width of the alveolar ridge is not 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 bone to accommodate the implant.
How is Ridge Augmentation Accomplished?
Ridge augmentation is accomplished by placing bone graft material in the tooth socket. It is often done immediately after the tooth is removed to avoid the need for a second procedure. Next, the gum tissue is placed over the socket and secured with sutures. Once the socket has healed, the alveolar ridge can be prepared for dental implant placement.