Patients often don’t know or hear about ridge augmentation until they need to have one performed. Even a bit of familiarity with what to expect from this procedure can help you ask your dentist or specialist better questions if this procedure comes up. This includes understanding why the procedure can be helpful, as well as what to expect when you’re having it done. Lovett Dental North Heights can guide you through the procedure and help you determine if it’s right for you.

Why Ridge Augmentation Is Important

man learning about ridge augmentationIf you’ve lost a tooth through impact or injury, or if you’ve had a tooth extracted, you may be a candidate for ridge augmentation. This procedure can rebuild the jaw and gum near this tooth, preparing the space to hold the tooth replacement, usually a dental implant.

While ridge augmentation can help even a smile and contribute to aesthetics, its applications are not purely cosmetic. Once a tooth is lost, the bone adjacent to the tooth begins to erode. This can affect the jawline, creating an indentation or otherwise altering its shape. This can affect not just your smile but also your bite. It can also put stress on the jaw and trigger conditions like TMJ pain and disorder.

The longer you wait after the tooth is lost or extracted, the more change is likely to occur at the site of tooth loss.

What To Expect from Ridge Augmentation

Your ridge augmentation will be carried out by one of our periodontists. These experts are board-certified specialists in gum disease, dental implants, and related procedures. Our periodontists can perform osseous surgery, tissue grafting, and even crown lengthening in addition to the ridge augmentation already discussed here. Although it is generally not complicated and can be compromised of two core parts, the procedure itself requires skilled hands. First, bone graft material is placed to fill in any holes or indentations in the spot where the tooth was lost or extracted; ideally, in tooth removal, this is done alongside the extraction to minimize any risks for complications. Then, the gum tissue is placed over the socket with sutures to hold it in place.

It is possible to perform the second part without the first. If the jaw bone has not been affected by the removed tooth, then only gum replacement may be deemed necessary. However, if the jawbone has taken damage from the missing tooth, as often happens when there is a long time between the two procedures, then a bone graft is essential. Bone reconstruction helps address the unsightly smile that forms as a result of the missing tooth. It can also provide the type of support that the incoming dental implant needs to be anchored in place.

Sometimes, a spacer is placed on top of this gum tissue to ensure this space remains open for future dental implants or other related procedures. However, a spacer is not always necessary.

There are some variations possible with ridge augmentation services depending on an individual’s oral history. However, generally, these are the steps that you can expect as part of the procedure.

Discover Our Dental Services at Lovett Dental North Heights

Working with Lovett Dental North Heights gives you the kind of rapport that makes it easier for you to get your questions answered. Additionally, you will be able to have a treatment plan that addresses both your needs and your preferences. For example, we understand that different people have different comfort levels regarding procedures. As a result, we offer a range of sedation options.

Do you suspect you might need ridge augmentation, or do you have any other dental concerns? If so, it’s time to come to Lovett Dental North Heights. Contact us at 832.626.2153 to schedule an appointment today.