What Is Ridge Augmentation?
Your jawbone needs the teeth that are anchored into it to remain healthy. When you bite and chew, a tremendous amount of force is created. This energy transfers down through your teeth into the jawbone beneath them, and it triggers a continual process of shedding old bone cells and replacing them with new bone growth. This is how your jawbone stays strong and healthy. When a tooth is missing the jawbone beneath that tooth no longer receives the stimulation from the tooth, and it immediately begins to deteriorate. This can cause the jawbone to recede, lowering the gums in that spot. This process will continue.
A ridge augmentation is basically a bone graft to rebuild the alveolar ridge in the location of the missing tooth. By rebuilding the bone beneath, the gums will return to their original height. Also, the new bone mass will provide the necessary anchoring space for a dental implant to replace your missing tooth.
Why Should I Have Ridge Augmentation?
Ridge augmentation isn’t usually a required procedure, but it has many benefits, including:
- Reduced chance of additional bone and tooth loss — You’d be surprised at how fast your jawbone begins to recede after you lose a tooth or have one extracted. Ridge augmentation can stem this and preserve the structure of your jawbone.
- Improved fit for dentures — Dentures fit around the alveolar ridge. They are meant to specifically to match the curve, and this helps them maintain the snug suction that keeps them in place. If your ridge is uneven or compromised by bone loss, your dentures won’t fit securely, and they may even begin to become painful to wear. Augmentation rebuilds the ridge and creates a strong base for dentures.
- Better stability for implants — At Clear Lake Dental we place many implants and have almost unparalleled success rates with them. But they need strong, healthy jawbone mass for stability. If your alveolar ridge has begun to recede, this makes it more likely that any dental implants placed into it could fail. Ridge augmentation restores the adequate jawbone mass needed for anchoring implants.
- Improved appearance — You don’t think of this, but your alveolar ridges form the framework for your smile. If one ridge is uneven, due to bone loss, your smile can be crooked. Your bite can be impacted, as well. Ridge augmentation evens the two sides and improves your smile.
What Will Happen In Your Ridge Augmentation Procedure?
A ridge augmentation procedure uses very similar materials as a bone graft procedure. What happens when you lose a tooth is that the socket of the tooth is left vacant. If you have a socket that is vacant, you are putting yourself in danger of having infection take hold because food can get stuck inside of your empty socket. To fill the empty socket, our doctor or our amazing staff will use a bone substitute material to fill the socket and help even out your gum line.
Once the bone graft material is placed in the socket, the socket will need to be re-covered with the gum tissue to give your gumline a more natural look. Doing this will also allow for bone to continue to grow and make the ridge of your gums strong enough to have dental implants placed.
Are There Risks Involved With A Ridge Augmentation Procedure?
These procedures at Clear Lake have high success rates, but they are oral surgery and carry some risks. As with all oral surgeries, there is the risk of excessive bleeding and infection, but these are generally low. Specific to ridge augmentation, these are the risks:
The Next Step After Your Ridge Augmentation
After your ridge augmentation, you’ll need to replace your missing teeth with one of our fantastic options at Clear Lake Dental Care. Perhaps the healthiest way to replace teeth is through placing dental implants. The reason that dental implants are so healthy is because they will replace the roots of your teeth, which will ensure that the gum tissue and bone will not deteriorate.
If the teeth that you’ve lost are not replaced, there are numerous problems that can happen, perhaps the most noticeable being the change in your appearance. Your appearance will change because of the deterioration of the bone in your jaw. Your jaw will begin to shrink and you’ll end up having that very recognizable small lower jaw look common with people who have not replaced their lost teeth.
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