Ridge augmentation is a procedure performed to repair the natural structure of the soft tissue of the gums and the jaw following the extraction of a tooth.
There can be other reasons why Pacific Modern Dentistry needs to perform a ridge augmentation.
Why Do I Need a Ridge Augmentation?
When a tooth is extracted, the bone that surrounds the root in the jaw, known as the alveolar ridge, is gone, and an empty socket is left behind. Ideally, the socket heals on its own, and new bone is regenerated, but sometimes the bone breaks and cannot recover without help. If we don't treat this problem, the condition of the socket will continue to worsen.
Performing a ridge augmentation to fix this problem is not necessary, but it may be required if you are thinking of replacing the missing tooth with a dental implant because these devices need good bone structure to be viable.
Other reasons for ridge augmentation are periodontal disease, dentures, injury, and trauma.
How Ridge Augmentation Works
Before going forward with the procedure, we will discuss the surgery in detail, including the source of the bone graft that we will use to repair the socket. Ridge augmentation consists of making an incision and lifting the gum in the empty socket to expose the damaged tissue. Our surgeon then fills the hole with bone graft from your body or a bank to build up the height. Once we place the graft and secure it in the socket, the incision is stitched. If you are getting dental implants, you will need to recover for up to six months so that new bone can develop to support the implant. Depending on your situation, we can sometimes place the implant at the same time as the ridge augmentation surgery.
Ridge Augmentation Recovery
Once the surgery is completed, and after we monitor you for several minutes, you will go home. You will feel sore and may experience swelling the day of the surgery, which is entirely normal after an invasive procedure.
We recommend you don't eat any solid food until the effects of the anesthesia wears off to prevent you from biting your cheeks or lips. You can take over-the-counter pain medication as indicated, but we don't recommend aspirin-based products. If we prescribed an antibiotic to prevent infection, continue taking it until all the medicine is gone.
We may send you home with a clear appliance that is placed on the roof of your mouth. Do not remove it under any circumstances for 24 hours.
Ice is very beneficial in reducing swelling and promoting healing. You can use an ice pack or a plastic bag with frozen peas, which are the ideal size for an ice pack for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off during the first 24 to 48 hours.
We also recommend sitting up in a comfortable chair such as a recliner and sleeping with your head propped up by pillows or cushions. Take it easy and avoid any physical activity for a couple of days.
Please call Pacific Modern Dentistry at (206) 607-9822 if you have any questions about the need for ridge augmentation.