What is ridge augmentation?
A ridge augmentation is a procedure that recreates a natural outline of the gums and jaw. After losing a tooth from periodontal disease, a trauma, dental implant or extraction, this surgery mends any creases, clefts or large depressions in the gum line.
Ridge augmentation surgery can take place in two conditions. First, it can be primarily performed concurrently with a tooth extraction. This is because it helps to preserve the jawbone after the extraction. Secondly, dentists can do it later to recreate the natural contour of your jawline lost because of dental trauma.
After losing teeth, the gums and jawline compensate for the space left behind by the missing tooth. Unfortunately, this leaves an indentation and a noticeable and unnatural gum line. Ridge augmentation uses tissue-grafting and bone procedures to plug in the indentation and rebuild your gum line to a new, smooth and even restoration.
Types of ridge augmentation procedures
There are two types of ridge augmentation procedures. Keep in mind, your dentist will help you decide which dental procedure is best for you.
Gum replacement: Dentists use this procedure to restore the natural bulge in your gum line to blend flawlessly with future artificial teeth. In this case, the jawbone height and width remain satisfactory, but the volume of gum has decreased. A gum replacement connects the tissue needed to restore your even gum line.
Bone reconstruction: When we lose teeth, it leaves a hollow and empty socket in our jaw. It only takes weeks without tooth stimulation for the remaining jawbone to start losing its strength where the indentation will reside. If left untreated, the height and width of the socket that previously held the lost tooth can be lost entirely.
Strong bone support is necessary to rebuild. Especially if an implant will be used to fill the gap. For the placement of a dental implant, you require the original height and width of the jawbone to achieve a seamless look.
Ridge augmentation post-operative care
Depending on the individual circumstances, the recovery process from a ridge augmentation procedure can take anywhere from a few weeks to one year because the bone has to take time to finish growing and healing, which varies for every patient. Therefore, it’s essential to work in tandem with your dentist to develop a recovery plan to best suit your needs.
Here are a few things you can do to aid with the healing process:
- Stick to soft food and liquids. Slowly introduce hard foods to your diet.
- As you slowly return to your regular diet, be mindful of chewing near the surgery site.
- Avoid smoking
- Do not use straws for the first week or two following the procedure.
- Continue with your daily oral hygiene practices.
- Brush and floss twice daily.
If you feel that you’re a prime candidate for a ridge augmentation or have any questions, please contact us today at (780) 429-2112. We’ll be happy to assist!