Ridge augmentation and socket preservation are vital dental procedures aimed at restoring the alveolar ridge after a tooth is extracted.
The alveolar ridge is an extension of the jawbone that surrounds the roots of the teeth. It runs below your gums and gives support to your upper and lower teeth, and helps define the curvature and proportions of your smile.
What happens after a tooth extraction?
When a tooth is extracted, an empty socket is left in the alveolar ridge bone. Often, this hole heals on its own by filling with bone and tissue. However, sometimes, the bone surrounding the empty socket breaks, and the socket cannot heal on its own. In such cases, the height and width of the alveolar bone will continue to degenerate.
While rebuilding the alveolar ridge to its original height and width is not medically necessary, it may be required for the placement of dental implants or for aesthetic purposes. Dental implants need bone to support their structure. A ridge augmentation procedure can help rebuild the alveolar bone to accommodate these prostheses.
What is ridge augmentation?
Ridge augmentation is a modern bone grafting procedure that utilizes various materials to reconstruct a large section of the jawbone to restore its function and form. It is a routine dental procedure that your dentist can perform. To recreate the natural contour of your jaw and gums that existed before bone loss due to tooth extraction, dental trauma, or periodontal disease.
What does the ridge augmentation procedure involve?
Before the procedure, your dentist will check your medical history to determine if you are a good candidate for ridge augmentation. The dentist will also perform x-rays and digital imaging to reveal areas of bone deterioration to determine the size and shape of your graft. Additionally, your dentist will decide which bone grafting material is suitable for you.
Here are the steps your dentist will follow during a ridge augmentation procedure:
- Your dentist will administer the appropriate anesthesia.
- They will lift your gums away from the bone and expose the remaining alveolar ridge.
- Your dentist will then fill the empty socket with bone or bone substitutes to build up the ridge.
- They will then close the incision by placing the gum tissue over the socket and securing it with sutures.
- Your dentist will then allow the socket to heal.
- Once the socket has healed, your dentist will prepare the alveolar ridge for the placement of a dental implant.
Healing time varies from person to person, and factors such as smoking or certain medical conditions like diabetes can slow the process. Depending on the patient’s needs, the dentist will typically give the bone about four to twelve months to heal before a dental implant is placed. However, in some cases, the dental implant may be placed on the same day the ridge augmentation procedure is performed.
What is socket preservation?
Socket preservation is similar to ridge augmentation. The main difference is that grafting is done immediately after tooth extraction compared to waiting until the bone degenerates.
What happens during socket preservation?
Here are the steps your dentist will follow during a socket preservation procedure:
- The dentist will administer appropriate local anesthesia.
- Your dentist will then fill up the socket with bone or a bone substitute.
- They will then cover the socket with gum tissue or artificial membrane to encourage the body’s natural ability to repair the socket.
- Your dentist will then let the socket heal.
- After the socket has healed, your dentist will prepare the ridge for the dental implant.
- A socket preservation procedure will help to eliminate the shrinkage and collapsing of the surrounding gum and facial tissues.
Who qualifies for a ridge augmentation or socket preservation procedure?
Candidates who have suffered tooth loss and are interested in getting dental implants, bridges, or traditional dentures can qualify for ridge augmentation. However, because they require a surgical procedure, you must be healthy enough to survive. You should have a strong immune system and a healthy circulatory system to support recovery.
Ridge augmentation or socket preservation procedures will help eliminate indentations, stimulate bone growth, improve the fitness and appearance of your prosthesis, and improve your overall oral health.
Are you considering ridge augmentation or socket preservation in Provo?
If you require ridge augmentation or socket preservation and are searching for a dental clinic in Provo, contact us at Sundance Implant and Periodontal Center.
At Sundance Implant and Periodontal Center, we offer a range of dental services to cater to patients’ dental needs. Our board-certified periodontist specializes in ridge augmentation and socket preservation procedures to help establish a more secure fit and a better appearance for your dental implants.
Call us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your options.