Ridge Augmentation in Washington D.C. & Alexandria, VA
Ridge Augmentation Restores The Natural Contours of Your Smile!
After a tooth is lost or extracted, the bone in the jaw begins to recede. The height and width of the socket, which was supported by the tooth, will also begin to shrink after the tooth is removed. Many patients develop an indentation in the gums as a result, leading to loss of facial contouring and even difficulty chewing or speaking.
Bone Loss After Tooth Loss
Without the tooth root embedded in the bone to stimulate it, the surrounding ridge of bone, known as the alveolar bone, will begin to deteriorate. Eventually, this bone loss can make it impossible for the jaw to accept or retain a dental implant.
Candidates for Ridge Augmentation
Ridge augmentation surgery is performed when the normal shape and contour of the gums and jaw are lost as a result of tooth loss or tooth extraction. Ridge augmentation may not be immediately medically necessary, but is often recommended by Dr. Zalewsky or Dr. Hoge to prevent future issues.
Dental implants require sufficient surrounding bone to help support the new tooth and keep it in place. When this bone has deteriorated as a result of an extraction or other tooth loss, the implant may be rejected or become unstable over time. A ridge augmentation procedure can restore both the bone and the gums around the tooth, providing a more natural post-operative appearance.
Overall dental health can also be maintained with ridge augmentation. When the gums and bone deteriorate, more space is left open for bacteria and food to hide. These areas become hard to reach and if left untreated can result in infection and irritation.
Aesthetic reasons may also prompt ridge augmentation. When the jawbone and gums begin to deteriorate, the overall appearance of the jaw and face are altered. Ridge augmentation can help to restore a natural smile and create a strong base for future dental procedures.
The Ridge Augmentation Procedure
Ridge augmentation procedures can be performed on hard tissue or soft tissue. On certain occasions, both types of procedures will be performed in order to prepare the mouth for further treatment.
Hard tissue ridge augmentation is generally performed in preparation for dental implants or dentures, to provide bone support for the new implant. During this procedure, the gum tissue is pulled away from the root of the tooth in order to assess the bone degeneration underneath. A bone graft is placed before the area is sealed with sutures.
Soft tissue ridge augmentation is generally recommended for aesthetic reasons, to build up gum tissue for a more natural appearance. During this augmentation, a soft tissue patch will be extracted from another part of the mouth, such as the palate, and secured with sutures inside the socket.
Both procedures are performed under local anesthesia and usually require 4-6 months to heal completely.
Ridge augmentation can replace bone at the site of a lost tooth, making dental implants possible. Contact us for an appointment at our Washington D.C. or Alexandria, VA offices.
Dr. Justin Zalewsky, Dr. Michael Hoge, and the Precision Periodontics and Implant Dentistry team offer a range of periodontal treatment options to the Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. area, including residents seeking a periodontist in Annandale, Arlington, Burke, Chevy Chase, Falls Church, Fairfax, and Springfield. Please contact us to schedule a consultation with Dr. Zalewsky or Dr. Hoge, or request your appointment online.