Ridge augmentation helps avert jawbone loss after a tooth extraction by preventing bone erosion. If you recently had a tooth removed, or your dentist or oral surgeon thinks it might be necessary, a ridge augmentation procedure may be recommended right after your tooth is removed.
How does a ridge augmentation preserve your remaining natural teeth and keep your jawbone healthy and strong?
What Happens When Your Tooth Is Removed
Maybe your tooth was knocked out. Maybe you needed it extracted due to severe decay. Whatever the reason, when teeth are taken out of the jaw, an empty socket is left behind.
The best-case scenario is that this socket heals without any outside interference, filling with bone and tissue. But sometimes this isn’t the case. If the socket is broken or simply unable to heal on its own, the jawbone may begin to deteriorate without the tooth there to encourage it to rebuild the bone.
What You Need for a Healthy Jaw and Full Smile
When the jawbone begins to break down around the now-empty tooth socket, it drastically affects your oral surgeon’s ability to securely place dental implants. Dental implants require healthy bone to ensure the posts are stable and firm.
Another side effect of an eroding jaw is its effect on your looks. Without proper underlying bone structure, your cheeks may begin to appear sunken and your face can take on a different shape. This can lead to sagging skin.
Your oral surgeon may suggest a bone graft as a method of filling out the missing socket and stabilizing the eroding jaw. This may be done at the time of tooth extraction or later on. Once the bone graft has completely healed and integrated with the jaw, then dental implants can be placed. The entire process can take many months.
How Does Ridge Augmentation Help?
A ridge augmentation helps encourage healthy bone growth in the jaw. The alveolar ridge is the name of the specific bone that surrounds tooth sockets. During a ridge augmentation procedure, your oral surgeon places bone grafting material inside the affected tooth socket in order to rebuild the shape and structure of the ridge.
Gum tissue is then sutured back into place above the jawbone and the healing process begins. Once the graft has bonded with the jawbone and healing is complete, you are ready for dental implants.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
Are you a good candidate for ridge augmentation? Talk to our oral surgery team to find out. You can schedule an appointment by calling our office. We’re also here for you if you have questions about the procedure.
Trust Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery for professional advice on all oral surgeries, including ridge augmentation.