During a ridge augmentation procedure, the gums and jaw are reshaped to recreate their original form and look. This treatment is done after a tooth is extracted, and is performed to address and reverse the damage caused by lost teeth and bone. It gets its name from the alveolar ridge of the jaw, which is the bone that surrounds the tooth roots.
When do Patients need Ridge Augmentation?
After a tooth is extracted or lost, it will leave an empty socket in the alveolar ridge bone. This socket sometimes heals on its own by filling up with tissue and bone, but sometimes the bone surrounding the socket breaks following tooth extraction, preventing it from healing. After that, the socket will deteriorate.
We may need to rebuild the alveolar ridge’s original height and width, either for aesthetical reasons or to insert a dental implant. Bone is required for dental implants, so a ridge augmentation is often called for to rebuild the bone to support the implant.
The procedure for ridge augmentation surgery involves inserting grafting material into the tooth socket. For best results and to eliminate the need for a second surgery later, we need to do this immediately after removing the tooth. After inserting the grafting material, we will place the gum tissue over the socket and suture it.
Dr. Wallace may pick a product that preserves the space over the top of the graft. This can restore the height and width of the space opened up by tooth or bone loss, where new bone is meant to grow in. Once the socket heals, we will prepare the ridge to receive the implant. Ridge augmentation is usually conducted with anesthesia, along with additional sedative medications per the patient’s request.
After the surgery is completed, you will need to rest and avoid exercise and any other strenuous activities. It’s normal to experience minor to moderate discomfort, bruising, and inflammation for a week or two. Anti-inflammatory medication and ice packs can alleviate these effects, however.
Avoid using straws or spitting for two days after surgery, as these can dislodge the blood clot that needs to form over the socket. Dr. Wallace will likely prescribe a soft food diet for several days after the procedures, but you can slowly add additional foods to your diet as your gums heal. Certain foods can interfere with the healing process, including crunchy, spicy, and hard foods, so wait a few weeks before eating them.
Length of the Healing Period
The length of the recovery period varies from patient to patient, but full recovery, on average, takes between 6 and 9 months. It takes at least this long for the new bone tissue to fuse with your alveolar ridge and become a permanent part of your body.
Our team of skilled doctors here at Dallas Oral Surgery Associates have received highly specialized training in oral and maxillofacial surgery. They can all boast of many successful ridge augmentation procedures. After a consultation with you about your medical and dental history, we can determine what the most effective treatment plan is for you.
For more information, please contact our office at 214-363-9946.