As dental technology has improved, so has the availability of dental implants. They are one of the most effective and popular restoration procedures available today. Improved dental technology has also allowed our prosthodontist team at Thomas P. Rafferty, DDS to make dental implants a reality for people that may not have an ideal oral structure to receive dental implants. One of the procedures our team uses to
accomplish this is a ridge augmentation.
Ridge augmentation is a specific type of bone graft that targets your alveolar ridge. This ridge is part of your jawbone and forms the foundation that your natural tooth roots are attached to. Gum disease and tooth loss can damage this ridge, making it difficult for your jawbone to receive dental implants. By grafting new bone material to this ridge, our team can repair the damage caused by tooth loss and prepare your mouth for dental implants.
What Is Ridge Augmentation for?
Ridge augmentation is primarily used as a preparatory intervention for patients that need dental implants. The goal of this procedure is to strengthen and reshape your alveolar ridge so that it can hold the implanted metal posts. Ridge augmentation can be avoided if you receive tooth socket grafts at the time of tooth loss.
This procedure is necessary due to the rapid bone loss that occurs after you lose a tooth or teeth. According to Perio.org, approximately 25% of the bone tissue on your alveolar ridge will be reabsorbed within 12 months of tooth loss or extraction. This number increases to a range of 40%-60% within 36 months of tooth loss.
What Is the Procedure?
During ridge augmentation, our team will administer an anesthetic. Our professional will then make an incision into the target area or areas of your gums where you have experienced bone loss. Once they expose the damaged ridge, they will begin attaching donor bone fragments to the area in order to reshape and repair it. After grafting is complete, they will suture the surgical site.
How Long Is the Recovery?
The recovery process will only take a few days to a week. Your gums may be tender during this time frame. Our team will provide a list of foods and drinks to avoid during the healing process so that you can avoid irritating the incisions. After approximately one week, you should be able to resume your normal eating and drinking habits.
If you are at a heightened risk for infection, our professional may prescribe an oral antibiotic. It is important that you adhere to their guidelines and finish the medication to protect yourself from post-op complications. It will take several months for the bone graft to completely fuse with your existing ridge material. Once it has fused, the material will have formed one solid piece of bone that is stronger and better suited to receive dental implants.
After you have healed from your ridge augmentation, our team can begin the next phase of your restoration and install your implants. If you are ready to learn more about the benefits of ridge augmentation and find out if it is right for you, it is time to see our team at Thomas P. Rafferty, DDS. You can reach us at (978) 720-9009.