Alveolar Ridge Augmentation
What is Alveolar ridge Augmentation?
Alveolar Ridge Augmentation is a surgical procedure done to improve the shape and size of the alveolar ridge(s) in preperation to receive and retain a dental prosthesis. It may be localized, as in socket grafting or it may involve the entire ridge.
What Is A Localized Alveolar Ridge Augmentation?
Localized alveolar ridge augmentation, also referred to as socket grafting or grafting of a buccal wall defect, is a common dental surgery that may be performed following the extraction of a tooth to help recreate the natural contour of the gums and jaw that may have been lost due to bone loss following, or as part of, a tooth extraction.
The alveolar ridge of the jaw is the bone that surrounds the roots of the teeth. When a tooth is removed, it leaves behind an empty socket in this bone. Typically, this empty socket will heal on its own, filling in with bone and tissue. Sometimes the walls of the socket are thin and break during tooth removal, or were missing before the procedure. When the bony wall holding the tooth into the jaw on the side facing the cheek is missing, it’s called a “buccal wall defect.” These types of sockets typically do not heal to their previous height and width because they do not have intact, bony walls to guid bone regneration. Bone typically will continue to be lost at this site, because there is no tooth to retain the bone.
Rebuilding the original height and width of the alveolar ridge is not critical to the patient’s overall health, unless the patient wants to replace the original tooth with a dental implant or the lost tissue has caused an aesthetic problem. Dental implants require a certain amount of bone to support the base of the implant. Patients who are considering a dental implant may want to consider a synthetic recombinant protein grafting option in the socket to maintain the alveolar ridge height and width and enable future implant placement. Placing this type of graft material into the tooth socket has been shown to promote bone growth, prevent bone resorption after tooth extraction and preserve the height and width of the alveolar ridge. One of the primary advantages of socket grafting is that it allows implant placement.
How Is It Done?
A ridge augmentation procedure is performed by placing graft material into the tooth socket. This may be done immediately after the tooth has been removed. The gum tissue is then advanced over the socket and sutured.
Once the socket area has healed, the alveolar ridge can be prepared for a dental implant or other dental restoration.
Dental implants are designed to serve as the foundation for artificial teeth (crowns) that look, feel and function like natural teeth. Dental implants typically are very small, screw-type posts placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the post, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Dental implants help preserve facial structure and also help prevent the bone deterioration that usually occurs when teeth are missing.
A ridge preservation procedure typically is performed in the dental office under local anesthesia, however, some patients also may request sedative medication, as well.
What about the entire ridge?
The entire bony ridge may be augmented by basically the same technique used over a more extensive area. This may be accomplished with either a particulate material or a block graft material. It may be autogenous (patient’s own bone) or it may be synthetic and or cadaver bone.