Bone loss is an unfortunate consequence of tooth loss. When bone loss occurs, a few things happen. One major effect is that the bone changes shape. This affects your natural bite. Bone loss affects the whole shape of your face. It also causes the bone to become weak, which can impact the potential for replacing your missing teeth with dental implants. At Downey Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, we can help to restore the natural contour of your jawbone while also improving its strength with a ridge augmentation.
The Goal of a Ridge Augmentation
Following tooth loss, whether they fall out or are extracted, your bone begins to weaken. This leads to changes in the contours of the bone. The bone loses height and width, which can make placing dental implants more difficult. A ridge augmentation is a procedure that is meant to rebuild the height and width of your jawbone, improving its contours. In addition to improving the aesthetics of the bone, and your overall facial shape, the ridge augmentation also helps to increase its strength so that implants can be used as a tooth replacement.
How is a Ridge Augmentation Done?
A ridge augmentation is a surgical procedure that uses a bone graft to rebuild the height and width of your jawbone, improving its shape and appearance. We accomplish this by placing the bone grafting material into the affected regions of your jawbone. Small screws help to secure the graft material into place during the recovery process. It is during this phase that your natural bone fuses with the graft material. Graft material can come from your own body, from a donor, or synthetic sources. Healing generally takes about 6 to 9 months, after which you can have your missing teeth replaced with dental implants.
Guided Bone Regeneration With a Ridge Augmentation
Guided bone regeneration, or GBR, is becoming more commonplace after bone grafting procedures, including ridge augmentations. GBR uses a special membrane that is placed over the graft site before the gums are stitched closed. It functions as a barrier that keeps soft tissue from filling in where you should have bone. Membranes can also be soaked in growth factors, which help to stimulate new bone and tissue growth.
Risks Associated With a Ridge Augmentation
There are a few risks that can come along with ridge augmentation. These risks include infections, allergic reaction to the bone graft material, and graft rejection. We are highly experienced in performing bone grafting and dental implant procedures, including ridge augmentations. We take all necessary precautions to help minimize risks. If you have any concerns during your recovery, call us right away.
Is a Ridge Augmentation Right for Me?
Candidates for a ridge augmentation are missing bone mass in their jaw after tooth loss or tooth extractions. This bone loss has left the bone weak and uneven. You may want to improve the strength of your jaw to get dental implants. Certain medical conditions, such as chronic conditions or autoimmune issues, can affect your candidacy. We will discuss your medical history during your consultation to make sure that a ridge augmentation is a good solution for you.
For more information about ridge augmentations, and to schedule your consultation, contact Downey Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at 562-459-3311 today.