What is a ridge augmentation?
A ridge augmentation is a type of oral and maxillofacial surgery performed after a tooth has been lost to help recreate the natural contour of the gums and jaw that may have been lost.
It is not medically necessary to rebuild the original height and width of the alveolar ridge, but it may be required if dental implants will be placed, as they require sufficient bone to support their structure. Ridge augmentation can help rebuild this bone. It is also a beneficial procedure to restore aesthetics to the face, as bone loss can create a sunken facial appearance, and improve the function of the jaw.
How is the surgery accomplished?
To complete a ridge augmentation procedure, bone graft material (from another part of the body or from a donor) is placed in the tooth socket. This is often done immediately after the tooth is removed to avoid the need for a second procedure at a later date. The gum tissue is then placed over the socket and secured with sutures. A space-maintaining product may be placed over the top of the graft to further help restore height and width to the space. Once the socket has healed completely, the alveolar ridge can be prepared for dental implant placement.
To ensure the comfort of the patient during the procedure, local anesthesia is used. Additional sedation options, such as medication, can also be provided.