It is important to maintain the structure of the jawbone once a tooth has been extracted. Otherwise, a patient could experience bone resorption, which leads to changes in the facial structure. Ridge augmentation is a routine procedure that places a bone graft into the space where a tooth once was in order to maintain the jaw shape. Surf City Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery performs ridge augmentation for patients who have had an extraction, if they have experienced bone loss, or if they have a missing tooth.
What Happens During a Ridge Augmentation?
Ridge augmentation is a simple procedure, as the space is already exposed after a tooth extraction, and the gum is open. Our oral surgeon will insert the grafting material into the space, attach it to the gum, and ensure it is stable. The patient may experience the feeling of sand-like particles in their mouth for the next few days, but this is normal as the grafting material settles within the gum. However, it is best to refrain from disturbing the grafting material. If the ridge augmentation is taking place sometime after a tooth has been removed, the oral surgeon will need to make an incision in order to place the bone grafting material. The healing process involves avoiding pressure on the area so as to not disturb the bone grafting material, as well as eating soft and cold foods for the next few days. The patient cannot rinse their mouth out for 24 hours or brush the affected area.
Getting the Bone for the Grafting Material
The grafting material can get its bone from several different sources. The bone can come from the patient themself, an animal, another person, or from a synthetic source. Our oral surgeon will most likely recommend that it come from the patient’s own body, as this is the most reliable form of bone grafting material and will ensure the process is smooth and effective. Bone obtained from a patient’s own body, called an autograft, can be taken from either the shin, hip or chin. This involves another procedure in which the patient will be sedated, usually with local anesthesia, in order to make an incision, and take the bone. The bone grafting material contains everything the jawbone needs to create more bone density in the area. It helps maintain the shape and size of the bone in that area, meaning that future procedures are possible without complication. Bone grafts can also be used to improve the jawbone mass of those patients suffering from periodontitis. For patients having ridge augmentation after a tooth extraction, bone grafts can improve the healing process. However, when a patient receives a bone graft prior to a future procedure, such as a dental implant placement, then the bone grafting material can take up to a year to create bone dense enough for further procedures.
Surf City Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery can help you maintain your facial structure or ensure that no further complications occur down the line. Call our office at 657-384-2787 to see how ridge augmentation can benefit you.