Ridge Augmentation

What is a Ridge Augmentation?

A ridge augmentation is a common dental procedure often performed following a tooth extraction. This procedure helps recreate the natural contour of the gums and jaw that may have been lost due to bone loss from a tooth extraction, or for another reason.

The alveolar ridge of the jaw is the bone that surrounds the roots of teeth. When a tooth is removed an empty socket is left in the alveolar ridge bone. Usually this empty socket will heal on its own, filling with bone and tissue. Sometimes when a tooth is removed the bone surrounding the socket breaks and is unable to heal on its own. The previous height and width of the socket will continue to deteriorate.

Rebuilding the original height and width of the alveolar ridge is not always medically necessary, but may be required for dental implant placement or for aesthetic purposes. Dental implants require bone to support their structure and a ridge augmentation can help rebuild this bone to accommodate the implant.

How is the procedure Accomplished?

A ridge augmentation is accomplished by placing bone graft material into a jawbone defect. The bone material used to restore an alveolar ridge will depend on the size and location of the defect.  Two of the more common types of graft used in combination for this procedure are autogenous bone from the chin or jaw and allograft bone particles from a bottle.  The bone graft material is secured to the existing jawbone, covered with soft tissue and left to heal for 4-6 months.  Once the graft has adequately healed, the alveolar ridge can be prepared for dental implant placement. The need for this type of bone graft is minimized if socket preservation bone grafting is performed at the time of tooth extraction.    

A ridge augmentation is generally performed at Dr. Conquest‘s office under intravenous sedation, although in some cases this procedure can be comfortably completed with the use of local anesthesia alone.