Ridge modification is an effective procedure for treating deformities in the upper and lower jaws. These deformities can occur as a result of periodontal disease, trauma, injury, wearing dentures, or developmental problems. Such defects can leave insufficient bone for the placement of dental implants and an additional unattractive indentation in the jaw line adjacent to the missing teeth.
During the ridge modification procedure, the gum is lifted away from the ridge to fully expose the defect in the bone. The bony defect can be filled with bone graft material that can help regenerate lost bone or a bone substitute. Finally, the incision is closed and several months of healing will be required. Depending on the case and type of implant and procedure, the dental implant might be placed during the ridge modification procedure or when healing is complete; this all depends on the condition of the bone. Ridge modification improves the cosmetic appearance, functionality of the mouth, and the chance of enjoying dental implants for many years.
When is ridge modification necessary?
Jawbone size and density can be compromised in several different ways, including:
- Resorption: When a tooth is missing, the bone ridge under the lost tooth gradually begins to shrink, a process called “resorption.” Over time, bone loss can lead to a noticeable indentation in the jawbone.
- Periodontitis: Serious gum disease is progressive. Without treatment, the gums begin to pull away from the teeth. This leaves bone and connective tissue exposed to destructive bacteria and infection, which can cause bone loss.
- Trauma: Bone damage caused by accident or injury might require bone replacement or recontouring.
- Bone structure and size: Sometimes the jaw ridge is too narrow or shallow to support an implant, especially in the back of the upper jaw near the sinus cavity, and will need added bone before an implant can be placed.
What will your surgery involve?
- Assessing bone quantity and quality: Using advanced imaging technology, we will evaluate your jaw’s condition, and map out any areas of bone loss.
- Designing your treatment plan: If a bone graft is your best option, we will recommend the best grafting materials for your needs. Bone grafting might use bone tissue taken from your own body, processed bone grafting material, or synthetic grafting material to replace and repair the damaged bone. We will also discuss your anesthesia and sedation options.
- Performing the Surgery: After anesthesia, an incision will be made in the gum tissue to reveal the damaged or missing bone. Grafting material will be shaped to restore the bone’s contours and secured to the affected area. The incision will then be closed. If you are here for an extraction, it may be possible to have augmentation done as part of the same procedure.
- Providing follow-up care: You’ll receive detailed careful instructions for after care and follow-up visits. The time it takes for you to heal completely will depend on the size and type of your graft.
- Placing your implant: Once the bone has healed, we can surgically place the post for a secure, long-lasting, and healthy implant.