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What Is a Ridge Augmentation?

A ridge augmentation is a common dental procedure often performed after a tooth extraction to help re-create the natural contour of the gums and jaw that may have been lost due to bone loss.

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 behind. The empty socket will usually heal on its own, filling with bone and tissue. If the bone surrounding the socket breaks, however, it’s unable to heal and the previous height and width of the socket will continue to deteriorate.

Rebuilding the alveolar ridge is not medically necessary but may be required for dental implant placement or for aesthetic purposes. Dental implants require bone to support their structure, and a ridge augmentation can help rebuild this bone to accommodate the implant.

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Surgical Procedure

After a tooth is removed, bone graft material is placed in the tooth socket, then the gum tissue is placed over the socket and secured with sutures. Once the socket has healed, the alveolar ridge can be prepared for dental implant placement.

The procedure is typically performed in the office under local anesthesia. Some patients may also request sedative medication in addition.

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