Dentist Marysville, WA
Despite our best efforts, a tooth break happens. When you break a tooth, we have no choice but to remove it to save your other teeth. Otherwise, you could get an infection. We might also have to remove a tooth because of tooth decay and gum disease for the same reasons - to save other teeth from getting an infection. If a tooth is diseased beyond hope, we have no choice but to extract it. We don’t like to remove teeth, because we know that leaving an empty socket means your jawbone grows weaker over time. In the past, we didn’t have ways to rebuild your jaw or replace teeth that were lost due to trauma or disease. Nowadays, if we need to rebuild a portion of bone and tissue that you have lost, we can do that through ridge augmentation.
What Is Ridge Augmentation?
Ridge augmentation was developed by scientists and researchers after they studied patients who had bone loss after losing a tooth. The researchers found that the earlier a lost tooth can be replaced the better. Sometimes, the best solution is to replace the tooth with an implant. Implants are artificial teeth that are the closest thing to real teeth we can offer our patients. If we can, we immediately place a lost tooth with an implanted tooth, because that way, your tissues and jawbone are preserved. Sometimes, however, we can’t immediately replace your lost tooth.
In your mouth, your teeth are located in a structure called the alveolar ridge. This ridge is a piece of bone. The alveolar ridge surrounds your teeth and gums and works to anchor each of your teeth into the jawbone. Each time you lose a tooth as a child, the socket begins to grow new bone and tissue to even out the gumline. However, this amazing feature is only present in children, but not in adults. If you have tissue or bone missing, we need to replace it before we can place a tooth. We call this procedure ridge augmentation.
How Is Ridge Augmentation Done?
We do ridge augmentations with a bone grafting procedure because we need to replace the bone missing from your alveolar ridge. We will make an incision along your gum line. Then we will place bone grafts along the gum line where your bone should be. We then place a membrane over the grafts to protect them. There are times we have to expand the ridge work and rebuild more of your jawbone. We will drill holes into your jawbone to add bone grafts in order to rebuild your jaw. After we do a ridge augmentation procedure, we can do an implant within three to six months, depending on how long it takes your body to heal. When the ridge augmentation is healed, we can then do an implant procedure.
Do you have additional questions about ridge augmentation? Give us a call at (360) 659-3200.