If you would like dental implants to replace a missing tooth or teeth, healthy bone must be present in the implant site. When there is a loss of bone quality or quantity in an area where teeth were removed, a ridge augmentation may be recommended to add bone to an area in preparation for an implant placement. It is a common oral surgical procedure and may be necessary in some cases or optional in others.
When Is Ridge Augmentation Used?
There are several reasons that the bone in your jawbone may be compromised and a ridge augmentation would be required. This may include previous dental conditions such as periodontal disease, significant trauma to the teeth, jaw, or face, long term partial or complete denture wear for many years, natural shrinkage of bone from premature tooth loss, and anatomic variations. When dental implants are planned, ridge augmentation may be necessary to restore the normal volume of bone to the areas in preparation for dental implants.
In most cases, bone augmentation is painless and can be performed at the same time as tooth extraction. For those who have had teeth missing for a longer period, a local anesthetic is given to numb the area, and an incision is made in the gum where the ridge augmentation is to be performed. Bone graft material, containing bone, collagen, and/or proteins may be placed in order to encourage and stimulate bone growth. The incision is then sutured closed. The grafted bone acts as a scaffold to stimulate new bone growth. As new bone forms in the area, the graft is absorbed, a process that commonly takes 3-6 months. A dental implant can then be placed in the area. The bone for grafting can come directly from you, obtained most commonly from inside your mouth, or in some larger cases from your hip or shin. Other common options include bone harvested from another person, called an allograft, or taken from animal bones, termed a xenograft. Another type of graft is an alloplast, which is synthesized bone developed in a laboratory. All bone for the ridge augmentation is heavily disinfected, so it is free of proteins, disease, viruses, and bacteria before being inserted.
Ridge augmentation and bone grafting is not a procedure necessary for all patients. After consultation with us at our office, you will be advised as to the procedure that would be best for you regarding your missing tooth. We will examine your jawbone to determine whether a ridge augmentation would be advisable or necessary.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you would like more information regarding ridge augmentation and/or bone grafting, you may contact the experienced professionals at New York Oral, Maxillofacial, and Implant Surgery at (914) 768-8220. We would be happy to evaluate you and answer your questions.