Ridge Augmentation / Soft Tissue / Hard Tissue

Removal of teeth is sometimes necessary because of pain, infection, bone loss or fracture of the tooth. The bone that holds the tooth in place (the socket) is often damaged by disease and/or infection resulting in deformity of the jaw after the tooth is extracted. In addition, when teeth are extracted, the surrounding bone and gums can shrink and recede very quickly after the extraction resulting in unsightly defects and collapse of the lips, and cheeks.

These jaw defects can create major problems in performing restorative dentistry whether your treatment involves dental implants, bridges or dentures. Jaw deformities can be repaired by a procedure called ridge augmentation. These procedure is done through soft tissue augmentation and bone augmentation where indicated.  Augmentations are often done immediately after a tooth/teeth is removed, to avoid the need for a second procedure later.

When bone is utilized for the augmentation we may place a space-maintaining product over the top of the graft to help restore the height and width of the space created by the tooth and bone loss, and into which new bone should grow. Next, the gum tissue is placed over the site and secured with sutures.  Once the site has healed, the ridge can be prepared for dental implant placement.

A ridge augmentation procedure is typically performed in our office under local anesthesia. Some patients may also request sedative medication in addition or  IV sedation .

Soft Tissue Augmentation

Around dental implants like around natural teeth the presence of keratinized (attached gum) is very important in the function and aesthetics.  The attached band of gum provides protection to both dental implants and teeth when normal forces from brushing, flossing and chewing are applied.  When dental implants and teeth are lacking the attached band of gingiva/gum, normal forces may lead to inflammation and recession of the tissue and bone.

These videos help in the understanding of the importance of keratinized/ attached gingiva-gum around implants.

Hard Tissue Augmentation

When bone has been lost due to atrophy (thinning of tissues due to lack of stimulation) and your treatment of choice is implants we may need to rebuild the deficiency so the future implant has adequate quantity of bone surrounding it for its support. If bone augmentation is needed, different techniques can be utilized for its reconstruction.

This video is an example of one technique of bone reconstruction.  When we see you we can review all different techniques if bone augmentation is necessary in your case.