Ridge augmentation is sometimes also called ridge preservation. It is a surgical solution that helps recreate the patient’s gum line and jaw after tooth extraction. In many cases, ridge augmentation is performed at the same dental visit and immediately following tooth extraction. Lovett Dental Pearland offers ridge augmentation among its several other specialty dental services.
The Effects of Tooth Extraction
When a dentist recommends that a tooth be extracted, it is because there is a good reason. Perhaps the tooth is too diseased to save, it is broken and beyond repair, or it is severely misaligned. Regardless of why the tooth was extracted, this procedure is only the first step in ensuring that the patient enjoys optimal oral health.
Once the tooth extraction is complete, there is an empty socket where the tooth was once located along the jaw bone. In the best-case scenario, bone and tissue naturally fill that socket, and the area becomes self-healing.
There are a significant number of times, however, when a tooth extraction also results in bone loss. Without ridge augmentation, the width and height of the empty socket will increase.
This procedure is often recommended to adequately prepare the empty socket for dental implant placement in the future. Completing this procedure immediately after the tooth extraction helps the dental implant placement go more smoothly.
Depending on where the tooth extraction is located in the patient’s mouth, ridge augmentation could also help improve their smile’s aesthetics. The amount of underlying bone that a patient could potentially lose after a tooth extraction is staggering. Within one year, as much as 25 percent of the tissue and bone could be reabsorbed. Just three years after tooth extraction, between 40 and 60 percent of the empty socket’s bone and tissue could be lost.
An Overview of Ridge Augmentation
In most cases, a patient will have ridge augmentation immediately following a tooth extraction. Not only does this mean that the patient will not have to come back later for this procedure, but it also sets them to start growing new and healthy bone immediately.
The oral surgeon’s bone graft material is placed in the present space after the tooth is extracted. Afterward, the gum tissue is positioned over the empty socket and then secured with sutures. A barrier membrane is often added to encourage new bone growth.
At this stage, the patient typically must be allowed to heal completely before a dental implant can be placed. There is a wide range regarding the time it can take patients to heal. For some, the process could be as quick as just a few months. Others, especially those who smoke or who have health conditions like diabetes, could face a longer healing period that could span a year.
Tooth extraction can compromise a patient’s natural jaw bone, making it inadequate to support the gums and teeth nearby. Gum disease and aging are other causes of bone deterioration.
To support a dental implant, a patient might need a ridge expansion. This procedure adds height and/or width to the jaw bone. First, the dentist uses surgical instruments to split the jaw bone. Then bone graft material is added.
For some patients, the installation of the dental implant follows this procedure. In other cases, the patient needs to heal before the implant is installed.
Find the Ridge Augmentation You Need at Lovett Dental Pearland
Lovett Dental Pearland offers comprehensive dental treatment, including ridge augmentation services, to our patients. The following services are offered as part of our multidisciplinary dentistry practice:
Learn more about how we can help protect your smile and your oral health by contacting us today at 281-416-5844.