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Ridge augmentation is a procedure that strengthens the jawbone by grafting bone to the jaw itself. Ridge augmentation is a viable treatment option for any patient who has begun to notice deterioration in the strength of the jawbone. Signs of a weak jaw include gum recession, loose teeth, and sunken in facial features. Although a loss of jawbone strength may be a common side effect of aging, patients who are most likely to see a deterioration of the jawbone are those who have experienced adult tooth loss. Without proper stimulation (which comes from the force of the bite being absorbed by the tooth’s roots), the affected area of the jaw will fail to receive the healthy blood flow necessary for the delivery of vital minerals and nutrients. Because of this, patients who have suffered from tooth loss are often particularly good candidates for ridge augmentation.
Ridge augmentation is an oral surgery procedure in which bone from a donor site is attached to the jaw. While this bone is often collected from another area of the patient’s body (such as another area of the jaw, chin, or hip), grafts can also be harvested from other natural sources, or can be made of synthetic materials as well. The type of graft that will be used for each patient will be dependent on the extent of the bone graft, as well as the overall health of the patient.
Ridge augmentation is an outpatient procedure that can be performed with the patient under the effects of local anesthesia. An incision will be made in the gum tissue above the treatment site so that the bone graft can be placed over the jaw. Once the graft is in place, the gum tissue will be sutured closed and the healing will begin. Over time, the bone graft should fuse with the natural bone and encourage the growth of new, healthy bone tissue.
Ridge augmentation restores strength to the jawbone to improve oral functions, preserve facial structure, and prevent future tooth loss or other dental complications. However, one of the greatest benefits of ridge augmentation is that it strengthens the jawbone so that patients can be considered good candidates for dental implants. Dental implants are the most secure, comfortable, and durable treatment option for adult tooth loss, and the only restorative treatment option that also addresses the loss of the tooth’s root.
Ridge augmentation is a great treatment option for patients looking to restore and preserve jawbone strength following tooth loss. If you would like to learn more about this procedure, we invite you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew R. Glenn at your earliest convenience.
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