A ridge augmentation is a common dental procedure performed by Dr. Shahriari at Greater Atlanta Oral Facial Surgery after a tooth extraction if the patient requires dental implants. You may need this oral surgery after a tooth extraction to help rebuild the natural contour of the gums and jaw if they’ve been lost because of bone loss as a result of the tooth extraction, although this procedure can be performed for a variety of other reasons as well.
The bone that surrounds the root of the teeth is called the alveolar ridge. When you have a tooth removed, an empty socket is left in this bone. In most cases, this empty socket will heal on its own by filling the space with bone and tissue. However, in some cases, after a tooth extraction, the bone around the socket may break, and then it is unable to heal itself. The empty socket will then begin to deteriorate, potentially causing health and cosmetic concerns.
Rebuilding the alveolar ridge is not always necessary, but it may be required for dental implants or cosmetic reasons. Dental implants require a strong bone structure to attach to for support, and a ridge augmentation helps to rebuild the bone for implants, so they can be installed safely and securely.
In order to rebuild the jaw bone, we first take a jaw bone graft and place it into the empty socket. This is usually done immediately after the tooth extraction, to avoid the need for a second procedure after the extraction. After the jaw bone graft is in place, we cover the socket with gum tissue and secure with sutures or stitches. If necessary, Dr. Shahriari may place a space-maintaining product over the jaw bone graft to help preserve the height and width of the space from the tooth extraction and bone loss. This helps aid the bone to grow. Once the area has healed, the alveolar ridge is ready for dental implants.
Most ridge augmentation procedures performed by Dr. Shahriari require only a local anesthetic but some patients may wish to request sedative medication as well.
In some severe cases, the alveolar ridge has been absorbed by the jaw and a jaw bone graft must be placed to add to the height or width of the empty socket. This technique will restore the lost bone when the alveolar ridge is too thin for dental implants. In a ridge expansion augmentation, the bone is expanded during surgery. A jaw bone graft can be placed and healed before we install the dental implants.
If you need a tooth extraction or have another issue causing an empty socket in your jaw bone and are thinking about ridge augmentation oral surgery, please call Greater Atlanta Oral Facial Surgery today. If you prefer, you can also contact us online to schedule your appointment to see Dr. Shahriari to assess your situation and provide the best course of action to ensure your jaw and mouth remain healthy.