The ridge augmentation procedure involves reshaping the gums and jaw, recreating the natural arch of the alveolar ridge of the jaw. The bone that makes up the alveolar ridge surrounds the roots of the teeth, and its health is crucial for providing structure to both natural teeth and dental implants. After a tooth extraction, a ridge augmentation may be necessary to restore its shape and appearance.
When Do Patients Need Ridge Augmentation?
Following a tooth extraction or the loss of a natural tooth, an empty socket will be left behind in the alveolar ridge bone. In some cases, this socket may heal on its own, but the bone surrounding the socket can potentially break following the extraction or loss of a tooth. This will prevent the socket from healing and eventually cause it to deteriorate.
To place a dental implant or effectively restore the appearance of your smile, you may need a ridge augmentation. This will involve your surgeon rebuilding the original height and width of the alveolar ridge. If you are receiving a dental implant but have experienced bone loss in the jaw, we may also suggest a ridge augmentation to ensure the dental implant has the support it needs.
Similar to bone grafting, the ridge augmentation procedure involves inserting grafting material into the tooth socket. This will typically be done immediately after a tooth extraction to eliminate the need for a second surgery later. This process will also guarantee the best restorative results. Once this grafting material is placed, the gum tissue will be placed and sutured over the tooth socket. Your surgeon may also decide to add additional material in order to maintain the proper dimensions of the socket. If you are receiving a dental implant, the implant can be placed once the socket has healed.
The ridge augmentation procedure is usually conducted under local anesthesia, but your clinical team is available to provide additional sedative medications at your request.
Recovery After A Ridge Augmentation
It is normal to experience moderate discomfort, inflammation, and bruising within the first two weeks of recovery. Ice packs and anti-inflammatory medication can be used to alleviate these effects.
For the first two days after surgery, be sure to avoid using straws or spitting. Doing so may dislodge the blood clot needed to form over the socket, disrupting the healing process. Eating crunchy, spicy, and hard foods is not recommended, as they can interfere with the healing process. Your treatment plans and paperwork will include a prescribed soft diet for you to follow over several days. Additional foods can be slowly added to your diet as you continue to recover.
Any pain or discomfort should decrease or disappear within one or two weeks after a ridge augmentation. On average, full recovery will take about 6-9 months. Most of the duration involves new bone tissue forming, strengthening, and fusing with the alveolar ridge.
Both our surgeons and clinical team have extensive experience and specialized training in performing ridge augmentations. As they walk you through your extraction and augmentation procedures, our doctors and nurses are well-equipped to address any anxieties and concerns you may have. If you are in need of a tooth extraction or dental implant, a consultation appointment will allow our team to determine if a ridge augmentation is right for you.
For more information about ridge augmentations or to schedule a consultation appointment, please call our office at 214-363-9946.