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What exactly is a ridge augmentation?A ridge augmentation happens to be one of the more common procedures that we perform in our offices. Once you have a tooth extracted, the outside of the socket sometimes needs to be reshaped, or augmented, to be able to help heal or remain strong. That way, the tissues are able to still look like they did prior to your tooth coming out.
Normally, following a tooth extraction, the socket's gums and bone tissue begin to deteriorate from lack of use. However, some sockets could also deteriorate for other reasons, including gum disease. A ridge augmentation is performed following an extraction. This extraction could be happening at the same time as the augmentation, so you can avoid having a secondary procedure later, or you can even have a ridge augmentation a few years after your extraction. It all depends on the condition of your jaw and gum tissues at the time.
When a tooth is removed from your mouth, your tooth's former socket is empty inside your alveolar ridge. What normally happens is that the socket refills itself with new bone growth initially, then the bone begins to deteriorate when your body figures out that the bone tissue is not needed. However, sometimes after an extraction, this doesn't happen. The socket may have broken during the extraction from the rocking, or it could be due to other circumstances. This can lead to extra problems with the width and the height that remains around that socket.
Getting a Ridge AugmentationWhile it isn't usually a medical necessity to get a ridge augmentation for anything outside of implants, it can be more pleasing aesthetically. If you do want implants, however, it may be necessary to hold the abutments for your implant. We do a bone graft to add height and width to your tooth's socket. We will cut open the gum tissue, put the bone graft on top of your jaw, then take the gum tissue and pull it back over your jaw and the new bone piece. We then stitch it up, and allow it to heal up and fuse together. Once the healing is complete, your new bone will be able to support a dental implant.
For more information on ridge augmentations, or to find out if you need one to be able to have dental implants, give us a call today at (210) 598-8933.