What is a Ridge Augmentation?
A ridge augmentation is a common dental procedure often performed following a tooth extraction to help recreate the natural contour of the gums and jaw that may have been lost due to bone loss as a result of a tooth extraction.
The alveolar ridge of the jaw is the bone that surrounds the roots of teeth. When a tooth is removed, an empty socket is left in the alveolar ridge bone. Usually this empty socket will heal on its own, filling with bone and tissue. Sometimes when a tooth is removed, the bone surrounding the socket breaks, and it is unable to heal on its own. The previous height and width of the socket will continue to deteriorate.
Rebuilding the original height and width of the alveolar ridge is not medically necessary, but may be required for dental implant placement, or for aesthetic purposes. Dental implants require bone to support their structure, and a ridge augmentation can help rebuild this bone to accommodate the implant.
How is the Oral Surgery Accomplished?
In severe cases the ridge has been resorbed and a bone graft is necessary to increase the ridge height or width.
Lack of Ridge Width
Poor ridge width can be addressed via a variety of surgical procedures.
One option is to surgically split the ridge and place bone into the gap created. Sometimes it is even possible to place an implant into that gap. A minimum width of 4/mm is necessary for this procedure.
With a ridge not suitable for splitting, bone will need to be added to your bone. This bone may be harvested from another section of your mouth (autogenous bone); cadaver bone processed for patient safely (allogeneic bone); bone graft substitutes and factors. Dr. Dobbin will advise you as to which alternative is right for you.
Poor Bone Height
Creating proper bone height is more difficult in terms of outcome.
There are different surgical treatments that Dr. Dobbin can offer depending on the amount of deficiency.
Severe deficiency may be corrected by combining growth factors (BMP) and bone graft substitutes and placing them in a titanium mesh to reform the lost bone contours and height.
Another option to create proper boney height is Distraction Osteogenesis. This technique involves placing surgical cuts in the jawbone that is deficient in height. By placing an appliance to your jawbone that was cut, the jawbone segment can be moved to its proper height by growing bone in the space left behind.
Smaller deficiencies can be corrected by creating cuts in the jawbone and moving the segment to its proper height. A bone graft is then placed into the gap left.