Ridge Augmentation

What is a ridge augmentation?

A ridge augmentation, sometimes referred to as Primary Alveolar Preservation, is a common dental procedure performed following a tooth extraction. This procedure helps recreate the volume and density of bone needed for the placement of a dental implant. 

The alveolar ridge of the jaw is the bone that surrounds the roots of teeth. When a tooth is removed an empty socket is left in the alveolar ridge bone. Usually, this empty socket will heal on its own, filling with bone and tissue. During the healing process, however, the sides of the socket collapse and the original height of the bone is reduced. 

Rebuilding the original height and width of the alveolar ridge is advantageous for dental implant placement and for aesthetic purposes. Dental implants require bone to support their structure and a ridge augmentation can help rebuild this bone to accommodate the implant.

How is a ridge augmentation accomplished?

A ridge augmentation is accomplished by placing bone graft material in the tooth socket. It is done at the same time as the tooth is removed to avoid the need for a second procedure later. Next, the gum tissue is placed over the socket and secured with sutures. Dr. Lee may choose to use a space-maintaining membrane over the top of the graft to facilitate new bone growth and hold the bone grafting material in place. 

A ridge augmentation procedure is typically performed in Dr. Lee’s office under IV sedation.