Extracting a tooth is always our last choice. At Kurt A. Gibson, DDS, PA, we always prefer to preserve the natural tooth whenever possible. Sometimes, though, the best option for your overall oral health can be to remove the tooth. When that happens, we offer a range of options to help keep your mouth healthy. Good oral health can help make you a strong candidate for dental implants, the best treatment for restoring and rejuvenating your smile. One of the most common ways we help you maintain the health of your jawbone is with ridge augmentation.
What Is Ridge Augmentation?
Ridge augmentation is a type of surgical operation that involves a bone graft. When a tooth is lost or extracted, it leaves an empty spot that is called a socket. If left empty, the bone around this socket will gradually deteriorate. This is because the bone in your body isn’t static, but is actually always changing. When you lose a tooth, there is nothing for the bone to support and nothing to continuously stimulate the bone. You can lose bone volume very rapidly. Up to a fourth of your bone can degrade in just the first year after a loss.
A ridge augmentation helps slow this deterioration, though it cannot stop it permanently. During an augmentation, the socket is filled with bone graft material. This helps restore the original shape and appearance of your jaw and gums. Often, an augmentation is performed at the same time as an extraction, to help prep you for an eventual dental implant. By being proactive about preserving the health of your jawbone, we can ensure that the whole process - from extraction to implantation - can happen as quickly as possible.
Do I Need a Ridge Augmentation?
Patients receive ridge augmentations for a variety of reasons. Whether or not you plan on receiving an implant, or if you’re still deciding whether it’s a good choice for your unique health needs, a ridge augmentation can have many benefits for the health and appearance of your jaw. For those considering implants, a ridge augmentation is a powerful tool to help restore the bone. This is because implants are designed to look, work, and feel just like your natural teeth, which is accomplished by replacing the root of the missing tooth. This is done by placing the implant in your jawbone itself, allowing it to bond to the living bone over time and become a part of your body. Unfortunately, this means that those patients without the necessary bone volume cannot support an implant.
Augment Your Smile Today!
Even if you’ve been told that you may not be a good candidate for dental implants, at Kurt A. Gibson, DDS, PA we always urge you to get a second opinion. Using safe and powerful procedures like ridge augmentation, you can make yourself ideally suited for implants! Give us a call today at (336) 283-2593.