What is Ridge Augmentation?
Ridge augmentation is commonly performed in order to help recreate the natural looking contour that the gum tissue has when no teeth are missing. When a tooth is removed, the jaw bone around the extracted tooth will start to shrink and deteriorate. This shrinking of the bone can cause a "sunken" or "caved-in" look on the gum tissue. This indentation that many patients experience once having a tooth removed can look unnatural and unpleasing.
In order to repair this indentation, preparatory to receiving an implant, a Ridge augmentation must be performed. It is important to note that it may be necessary to receive a ridge augmentation to place a dental implant, but if the bone has deteriorated severely, this type of procedure is required in order to place an implant.
How The Procedure Works
A Ridge augmentation procedure actually can be differentiated into two separate types of procedures: Hard Tissue and Soft Tissue. In some cases, both procedure types may be performed at the same time by Drs. Silverstein and Parker in order to place a more naturally looking dentistry implant, depending on the case.
Soft Tissue Procedure
The purpose of this type of procedure is to make the affected area aesthetically pleasing and clean. Prior to performing the Soft Tissue procedure, the gums in the procedure area will be numbed. Once the gums are numb, an incision will be made in order to expose the procedure site. With the site exposed, a soft tissue graft is then obtained from the patient’s palate, or a soft tissue substitute will be used in the place of real bone. The doctor will then insert the bone graft into the procedure area, which is then attached and secured with stitches.
Hard Tissue Procedure
The purpose of this type of procedure is to recreate the natural contour that gum tissue has when none of the teeth are missing. In order to accomplish this type of look, the procedure starts with the numbing of the gum tissue in the procedure area. An incision is then made in order to lift away the gum tissue to expose the bone that has deteriorated. A bone graft will then be obtained from a different part of the mouth, or from a cadaver in some cases. Once obtained, this bone graft will be inserted into the procedure area and then attached using titanium screws. When the graft is secured in place, the procedure area is then closed up with dentistry stitches.
The typical healing time from having either one of these pre-implant procedures is about six months. Once this healing time has passed, Dr. Silverstein or Dr. Parker can then consult with the patient regarding dentistry implant options. This type of procedure is required in order to be eligible for a dental implant if the bone deterioration is severe. Through the advancements in dentistry, this type of procedure can now provide a dental implant solution to patients that otherwise would not be eligible for dentistry implants due to indentation caused by bone loss.