What is a Ridge Augmentation?
The alveolar bone (alveolar ridge) is the portion of the jaw that supports the teeth. The alveolar bone of the jaw can lost due to the loss of teeth due to dental disease or trauma, pathology or infections. A ridge augmentation procedure is often performed following a tooth extraction to help reconstruct the alveolar bone that was lost as a result of a tooth extraction or for another reason.
When a tooth is removed, an empty socket is left in the alveolar ridge bone. Usually this empty socket will heal on its own, filling with bone and tissue. Sometimes when a tooth is removed, the bone of the socket breaks down and does not heal in a predictable manner. The previous height and width of the socket will continue to deteriorate.
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How is Guided Bone Regeneration Accomplished?
Guided Bone Regeneration is accomplished by placing bone graft material in the tooth socket. It is often done immediately after the tooth extraction, to avoid the need for a second procedure later. Dr. Maranon may choose to use a space-maintaining product (membrane) over the top of the graft to help restore the height and width of the space created by the tooth and bone loss, and into which new bone should grow. Next, the gingival (gum) tissue is adapted over the graft site and secured with sutures. Once the socket has healed, the alveolar ridge can be prepared for dental implant placement. Guided bone regeneration is usually complete in three to four months.
How is the Ridge Augmentation Accomplished?
Rebuilding the original height and width (ridge augmentation) of the alveolar ridge may be required to restore patient’s function and improve their aesthetics. This procedure is similar to guided bone regeneration, but is used to reconstruct areas of the jaw bone that lack bone. Dental implants and dentures require bone to support their structure and a ridge augmentation can help rebuild this bone to accommodate these devices or for aesthetic purposes. Ridge augmentation utilizes bone graft materials in particles or blocks, fixation devices, membranes and/or bone growth inducing proteins. This process may require four to twelve months to accomplish.
In severe cases, the ridge has been reabsorbed and a bone graft is placed to increase ridge height and/or width. This is a technique used to restore the lost bone dimension when the jaw ridge gets too thin to place conventional implants. In this procedure, the bony ridge of the jaw is literally expanded by mechanical means. Bone graft material can be placed and matured for a few months before placing the implant.