Ridge Augmentation
(Tooth Socket Preservation)

A localized alveolar ridge augmentation after tooth extraction, or "ridge augmentation," involves placing bone graft directly into the empty socket where a tooth's roots used to be, to help create the natural shape of the gums and jaw that may have been lost following tooth extraction. Patients may need a ridge augmentation procedure after losing one or more teeth, to prepare for future dental restoration.

Rebuilding bone in the alveolar ridge

The localized 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 the localized alveolar ridge bone. Usually, the 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 they were missing before the procedure. When the bony wall 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, and bone loss continues because there's no tooth to retain the bone.

If a patient wants to replace a lost tooth with a dental implant or lost tissue has caused an aesthetic problem, then the localized alveolar ridge must be reconstructed. A bone graft can help promote bone growth. After a tooth extraction, it can help preserve the height and width of the localized alveolar ridge (socket site preservation).

During ridge augmentation surgery

A ridge augmentation procedure is performed by placing graft material into the tooth socket. This can often be performed immediately after the tooth has been removed. The gum tissue is then placed back over the socket and sutured. Once the socket area has healed, the previous surgical site can be prepared for a dental implant.

Dental implants are designed to serve as the anchor 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(integrates) with the post, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Dental implants help preserve facial anatomy and also help prevent the bone deterioration that usually occurs when teeth are missing.

A ridge preservation procedure typically can be performed in our office under local anesthesia or sedation.

After ridge augmentation surgery

Every implant case is unique. The entire process, from tooth extraction to final dental implant placement, may take up to a year.

Dr. Hilmi will have a specific recovery plan for you to follow after your procedure. To maximize a successful outcome, you must carefully follow your recovery plan.

Potential risks and complications

As with any surgery, surgical treatment to promote bone growth in the jaw is not without risk. A variety of complications related to surgery or the use of bone graft may occur. Some of these may be severe and affect the outcome of your case. Additional surgery also may be required to correct complications.

Potential complications include:

  • Allergic reaction to the implant materials
  • Bone formation that is not normal, in excess or in an unintended location
  • Damage to nearby tissues or nerves
  • Infection
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Scar formation or other problems with the surgical incision
  • (Short-term) mild to severe swelling
  • Side effects from anesthesia or the surgical approach
  • Skin swelling or irritation
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