Your jawbone is responsible for keeping the roots of your teeth secured in place. Yet, most importantly, your teeth are also responsible for keeping your jawbone healthy and strong. Following a tooth extraction, or tooth loss, the lack of stimulus on the now edentulous (toothless) area may lead to a gradual loss of bone volume. This could eventually compromise the smile of a patient, from both a functional and aesthetic perspective. However, alveolar bone deterioration is an issue that can be restored. Ridge augmentation is a standard procedure that we often do here at Damascus Family Dental in order to leave patients with a beautiful and strong jaw that can safely support the placement of a dental implant.
The Importance of Ridge Preservation
Advancements in tooth extraction procedures have made it possible for us to increase the rate of successful dental extraction. However, if the alveolar bone anatomy of a patient was previously weakened or compromised due to the effects of aging, trauma, or gum or periodontal disease, then extraction may lead to subsequent damage to the bony walls of a socket.
When a tooth is successfully removed, the socket should be able to heal and regenerate the hard and soft tissue after a duration of time. This, however, may not be the case for a damaged socket. As a result, the resorption process of the surgical area, which begins right after an extraction is done, may accelerate. When this happens, even gum tissue could recede in an attempt to adapt to the shrunken jawbone dimensions. If so, a ridge augmentation intends to restore a damaged socket in order to preserve the alveolar ridge until an implant can be placed.
What Does a Ridge Augmentation Procedure Involve?
A ridge augmentation is a hard and/or soft tissue grafting procedure that is most commonly performed during the very same visit where a tooth is extracted. After cleaning the socket, and numbing the area to avoid any discomfort, we will expose the bone that hides beneath it by making two small incisions in your gums. Then, we will place either an autograft or allograft bone grafting material in the area.
If necessary, a specialized biologic membrane will be placed to cover, protect, and maintain the graft throughout the healing period. Your gums will then be sutured shut, and an additional gum graft may be applied to them (in cases of considerable gum tissue loss).
Recovering From a Ridge Augmentation
Although it usually takes about two weeks for your mouth to heal from the procedure, it can take from four to nine months for the graft to fully integrate with your alveolar bone and promote natural regeneration. We will carefully monitor the recovery process. By doing so, we can proceed to the next step and place a dental implant that will leave you with the complete smile that you most deserve.
Patients who are expecting a future implant should preserve their jawbone structure while the socket area remains exposed. This is to help prevent any further complications that may arise with the placement if it were to be resorbed. For further information about ridge augmentation and other preservation options in case of tooth loss, please do not hesitate to contact us here at Damascus Family Dental at (971) 275-3442 today.