At Reno-Tahoe Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center, we believe that the best way to help our patients keep their oral health in good order is to educate them on all of the different oral maladies that can affect them. Chances are you have not heard about ridge augmentation, but you should know what it is, whom it affects, and how we perform the procedure. When a person loses a tooth, there is a good chance that they will also experience some degree of bone loss in the socket where the tooth was lost. Bone loss in the jaw can easily lead to further tooth loss in the area. When bone loss becomes an issue, we can often fix it with ridge augmentation procedure.
Why You Might Need Ridge Augmentation
When the bone in your jaw recedes, it can drastically alter the look of your face and your overall oral health. When a person experiences a significant amount of bone loss in the jaw, their face will appear sunken and malformed. Deep recesses in the gums can lead to infections of the soft tissues and even the bone in your jaw. Bone loss in the jaw can make it impossible to place a tooth restoration like a dental implant without the help of a ridge augmentation.
What is ridge augmentation?
A ridge augmentation is a procedure that will restore the bone in your jaw or the soft tissue in your mouth to its appropriate levels using a bone or soft tissue graft. The socket where the tooth was lost that was once sunken will be restructured to have the appropriate bone and soft tissues levels, often to make it a good candidate for dental implant restorations.
How the Oral Surgery is Accomplished
There are two different ways to accomplish ridge augmentation. One is a soft tissue augmentation, and the other is a bone graft. If you haven't experienced significant bone loss in the socket, but the gums are lacking, we will perform a soft tissue graft. If the bone levels are low, we will perform a bone graft, and sometimes we will perform both a soft tissue graft and a bone graft.
Soft Tissue Graft
Soft tissue augmentation is usually performed to improve the aesthetic of gums and teeth where the gums have receded significantly. We will retrieve the tissue for the graft (usually from the roof of the mouth) and place the graft along the gums using sutures.
A bone graft is a little bit more involved than a soft tissue graft. The first step to performing a bone graft is acquiring the bone tissue that we will use to fill in the site. We can use bone tissue harvested from the patient's body, a cadaver, or even an animal with a biology similar to humans. We will make an incision in the site and place the bone graft on your jaw bone, carefully suturing the site close once the process is complete. It will take several months for the bone graft to heal.
Please call us today at (775) 430-5355 to schedule your appointment! We look forward to seeing your smile!