Ridge augmentation is a dental procedure that is typically done after a tooth extraction. This procedure recreates the natural contour of the gums or jaw that was lost during the extraction. The bone that surrounds the roots of the teeth is called the alveolar ridge of the jaw. When a tooth is extracted, there is an empty socket left where the tooth originally was. This socket typically will heal on its own, and fill with tissue or bone.
If the socket breaks during tooth extraction this area will not be able to heal on its own. When this happens rebuilding the alveolar ridge may be necessary if the patient requires a dental implant. Dental implants require a sturdy base and bone structure for proper support. A ridge augmentation procedure helps to rebuild the area, and place the necessary support for the dental implant.
Depending on how severe the area was after tooth extraction, will determine how long your healing period will be. Typically, the healing period after a ridge augmentation procedure takes a few weeks. This gives the area time for the bone to grow and heal. After your procedure our doctors will discuss an after-care plan, and give you recommendations on how to care for your mouth at home during recovery.
We do recommend patients follow a soft food diet, and as the area heals, they can reintroduce harder foods back into their diet. Patients should avoid using straws or smoking as this can create pressure on the area, and impact the healing process. Patients should continue to practice good oral hygiene habits with brushing and flossing, and make sure to be gentle around the surgery area. Once the area is completely healed, we will require the patient to return to the office to discuss tooth replacement.