Sometimes when you lose one or more teeth, you can get an indention in your gums and jawbone where the tooth used to be. This happens because the jawbone recedes when it no longer is holding a tooth in place. Not only is this indentation unnatural looking, it also causes the replacement tooth to look too long compared to the adjacent teeth.
Ridge deformities of the upper and lower jaw can leave you with inadequate bone and tissue thickness for either an aesthetic and functional bridge or dental implant restoration. The defects may have been caused by trauma, developmental defects, periodontal disease and wearing dentures.
Ridge augmentation procedures have been shown to greatly enhance the cleansability and appearance of your restorations. They increase your chance for long-term successful dental implants, both aesthetically and functionally.
1- Soft tissue ridge augmentations are performed to enhance the cleansability and aesthetics of a deficient site prior to its final restoration. During this procedure, an incision is made to expose the bony ridge. A soft tissue graft is then obtained either from a suitable site in your mouth and/or a soft tissue substitute and inserted into the area. The gum tissue is readapted over the soft tissue graft and sutured into place.
2- Hard tissue ridge augmentations are performed to recreate adequate bone dimensions prior to dental implant therapy. The hard tissue augmentation can also be done in combination with a soft tissue augmentation to simultaneously enhance the soft tissue profile of the deficient site. After the incision is made and the gum lifted away, the bony defect or bone substitute is placed in to build up the ridge. A membrane may be adapted over the bone graft based on individual defect morphology. Depending on defect size, an average bony healing and maturation time of 6-12 months is allowed before dental implants can be placed. In some cases, the implant can be placed at the same time as the hard tissue ridge augmentation is performed.