Having strong support for dental implants is key for a successful surgery and post-surgery aftermath. There are multiple steps we take before we give the green light for fitting implants and one of these steps is known as ridge augmentation.
Ridge augmentation is a form of bone graft surgery that is done to repair your alveolar bone which is necessary for sturdy implants. But what is the alveolar bone and why is it so important?
Why The Alveolar Bone Is Important
The alveolar bone is what holds your teeth in place and when tooth loss occurs or an extraction takes place, this bone begins to essentially collapse in on itself without a tooth because it no longer has anything left to keep it strong. And because patients typically request implants due to tooth loss or extractions, it means a ridge augmentation procedure is commonly required before the implants can be placed in the jaw.
The Ridge Augmentation Procedure
As touched on above, ridge augmentation is a bone graft procedure. A bone graft replaces lost bone with either a bone from a donor or another part of your body. The procedure involves placing bone material in the socket where the missing alveolar bone used to be. After the material has been placed, it is then covered with gum tissue and stitched/sutured in place.
To ensure that the bone will grow back correctly, sometimes a barrier membrane is used to create an area for it to grow back to its original size and shape. The goal of ridge augmentation is to regenerate bone to its former self.
After the procedure has finished, it is a matter of waiting for the grafted bone to fuse with the alveolar bone area. This can take up to a year, depending on the person - it admittedly takes quite a bit of time, but we want to assure that the end results when you finally receive your implants and teeth is absolutely worth the journey!
When Does Someone Not Need Ridge Augmentation?
If the ridge has not been damaged from impact and it is perfectly healthy, you can be given the green light for implants without needing a bone graft. This is why we suggest looking at your tooth replacement options as soon as the loss has occurred, the sooner you are able to come to the decision to receive implants, the less the wait will be, and the less you will need to spend on surgical procedures overall. It takes 36 months for 40 to 60 percent of the alveolar bone to deteriorate and only a single year for 25 percent of it to be gone.
Talk To Us About Dental Implants
If you are looking for tooth restoration options, we at East Lyme Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery want to help you have a smile you can feel confident in. Implants can be a long journey and we are here for you every step of the way. If you would like to schedule an appointment with us or ask questions, you can call our office at (860) 934-7809.