At Innovative Implant and Oral Surgery, our board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeons have extensive experience performing ridge augmentation and bone grafting procedures that pave the way for a beautiful, healthy smile. In addition to prepping patients for permanent dental implants, this procedure provides optimal aesthetic results, improving facial contour by correcting indentations along the jaw line.

A ridge augmentation is often necessary after tooth loss or extraction. It is a surgical procedure that improves the shape, contour and quality of the alveolar ridge and soft tissues lost due to bone atrophy and reabsorption. The alveolar ridge is the section of jaw bone that supports the roots of teeth.

In patients who have significant jaw bone deterioration, a ridge augmentation procedure may be necessary for dental implant placement. By rebuilding the width and height of the alveolar bridge, the jaw bone can better accommodate a permanent dental prosthetic with a higher success rate.

Ridge augmentation dental procedure

When a tooth is lost or extracted, the bone surrounding the root will begin to shrink as it is gradually absorbed by the body. Ridge augmentation uses tissue and bone grafting to enhance and rebuild the affected area of jaw bone and gums, giving patients a solid foundation for future dental implants.

Jaw bone loss, or alveolar ridge reabsorption, can result from several factors, including:

  • Tooth extraction
  • Long-term denture use
  • Severe periodontitis
  • Infection
  • Developmental defects
  • History of neoplasm
  • Injury or blunt trauma
  • Congenital anomalies

Our expertise in dental bone grafting and implantology has helped many patients throughout Pennsylvania restore their confidence and smile. The first step is assessing the amount of alveolar bone loss through both radiographic and 3D imaging. This gives us precise measurements of the alveolar ridge and allows us to select the best ridge augmentation technique.

How is ridge augmentation performed?

Our surgeons utilize several surgical techniques in ridge augmentation. These may entail soft tissue augmentation, block grafts and guided bone regeneration. Anesthesia options include local anesthetic or IV sedation.

During the procedure, the gum is carefully pulled back to expose the defective area of the tooth socket. The area is then filled with a bone substitute or bone grafting material, the type of which will depend on the location and severity of the tissue loss. This grafting material is covered with a thin sterile membrane and the incisions are closed. Over the next several months, osseointegration will take place as existing bone tissue grows into the graft, restoring the ridge to its original size and mass.

Ridge augmentation recovery and post-op instructions

All of our patients are given specific post-operative instructions to facilitate healing and recovery. We recommend avoiding hard or crunchy foods that can damage the graft site. Slight bleeding, swelling at the surgical site, bruising and discomfort are normal and may last for several days. We will prescribe pain medication and a course of antibiotics to ward off infection.

Depending on the patient, healing may take anywhere from six to 12 months. After the grafting material has integrated fully and the alveolar ridge is restored, our patients will be ready to receive dental implants.

General recommendations for patients immediately after ridge augmentation:

  • Avoid strenuous activity
  • Avoid chewing at the graft site
  • Avoid vigorous tooth brushing or mouth rinsing for 3-5 days
  • Stick to a clear liquid diet for the first 24 hours
  • Use prescribed rinse to keep the mouth clean
  • Report any unusual complications right away
  • Do not use a water pick or sonic toothbrush for 6 weeks
  • Take pain medication as directed

During a follow-up appointment, sutures will be removed if they were not dissolvable.

Ridge augmentation for dental implants

Ridge augmentation allows our patients to enjoy the cosmetic and functional benefits of dental implants for many years. In eligible candidates, we are able to perform the procedure at the same time as tooth extraction, minimizing recovery time.

Learn more about ridge modification at our Feasterville practice. Our knowledgeable, compassionate staff is proud to serve residents throughout Bucks County and Montgomery County, PA. Call today to schedule an appointment!

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