Ridge Preservation in Washington D.C. & Alexandria, VA
Ridge preservation can prepare the extraction site for an implant and reduce need for bone grafting.
When a tooth is lost, bone loss begins almost immediately. In cases of extraction, bone loss can be prevented with quick action, paving the way for a restoration to be placed as soon as possible.
Bone Preservation Begins at Tooth Extraction
Whether there is a planned tooth extraction or a tooth is lost to trauma, a long-term plan is needed to maintain a smile’s appearance and health. The mouth is a complex system, and losing a tooth can affect its entire structure.
A ridge preservation procedure at the time of a tooth extraction or soon after an adult tooth is lost through either accident or injury can help maintain the bone until an implant can be placed.
Preserve Your Appearance After Tooth Loss
One of the consequences of a lost or extracted permanent tooth is gradual loss of bone in the jaw, which is the teeth’s original support system. As long as teeth are in place, the jaw bone continues to maintain its size, density, and strength. However, when teeth are missing, the body believes that the bone is no longer needed.
Over time the body will reabsorb the bone that used to support teeth. For most people the bone loss is the most severe just after a tooth first goes missing, although it continues long after.
Reduced bone leads to sunken cheeks and lips that collapse against the gums. Speech and appearance can be affected negatively. Attempts to place dental implants may fail due to lack of strong bone to anchor them in place.
Benefits of Ridge Preservation
Ridge preservation benefits include:
- Bone and soft tissue maintenance after the loss of a tooth
- Minimal invasiveness during the procedure with minimal discomfort
- Preparation of the site for future placement of a dental implant
- Reduced need for additional bone grafting
- Maintenance of ridge esthetics, especially for the front of the mouth
The Ridge Preservation Procedure
Ridge preservation can be performed when a permanent tooth is extracted, making it minimally invasive and expensive compared to bone grafting after the fact. The newly empty root socket will be packed with a bone replacement material. The extraction recovery time will not be extended by the addition of the bone graft.
This type of bone graft is simple and straightforward and produces very little discomfort, compared to a full bone graft procedure. Best of all, a ridge replacement will work to minimize the chances of your needing a major bone graft down the road.
Even after a ridge preservation, dental implants will still be required to stop the resorption of both the original bone and the bone graft material. It’s recommended that dental implants be placed between four to twelve months after a tooth extraction with ridge preservation is performed.
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.