Ridge Augmentation and Socket Preservation

What is a Ridge Augmentation?

The bones in our body tend to follow the adage, use it or lose it!  When a tooth is lost and a Socket Preservation Procedure is not performed, within weeks the surrounding jaw bone and gum starts to wither. Ridge Augmentation represents a routine periodontal procedure used to correct indentations (concavities) in the gum and jawbone that typically develop following tooth extraction. Ridge Augmentation procedures can be performed either concurrent with a tooth extraction to preserve the jawbone (Socket Preservation) or at a later stage to recreate the natural contour of your gum and jaw that was lost as a result of a tooth extraction, periodontal disease, trauma, etc. Such indentations look unnatural and can be very disfiguring. If left untreated, should the missing tooth space in future be restored with either a dental implant or a bridge, the replacement tooth would look too long and out of place compared to the adjacent natural teeth. Fortunately, by employing a ridge augmentation procedure, Dr. Novack can correct such defects to recapture the natural beauty and contour of your gums and jaw. Once successfully treated, a replacement tooth can then be constructed that blends perfectly with your adjacent teeth and is easy to clean. Ridge augmentation procedures can be employed to restore lost gum, lost bone or a combination procedure to restore both lost gum and bone. The goal is to return you back to a state of health that nature intended.

Gum Replacement-Ridge Augmentation Procedure

In cases where jaw bone height and width remain adequate and only the volume of gum has been lost or alternatively, in those cases where a decision is made to proceed with a fixed bridge prosthesis, a gum (connective tissue) replacement surgery may be all that is necessary to restore the lost form to your smile.  It is common for an asymmetry or divot to develop in the area where a tooth was lost. A Gum (Connective Tissue) Replacement-Ridge Augmentation procedure is designed to restore the natural convexity to your gum and blend seamlessly with a future prosthesis.

Bone Reconstruction-Ridge Augmentation Procedure

Jawbone surrounds and supports our teeth in health. When a tooth is lost, all that remains it an empty socket in the jaw. This is especially true when teeth are lost due to periodontal infection or trauma. Within weeks, without continuous tooth stimulation, the residual jawbone ridge withers creating a profound and unsightly-indentation. If left untreated, both the height and width of the residual socket that had supported the tooth can be lost.

Dental implants by necessity require bone support. Rebuilding the original height and width of the jawbone is typically required to enable the placement of a dental implant and the achievement of an aesthetic treatment result.

How is a Ridge Augmentation Accomplished?

To correct indentations in the jaw and gum, the gum is first carefully lifted away from the jaw ridge to expose any defects in the bone. The ridge is then filled with a bone graft to reestablish the natural contour and convexity that existed when teeth were present. Dependent upon the extent of the defect, a specialized biologic membrane may be placed overtop of the bone graft to establish a sheltered site that best supports and maintains the bone graft during the critical healing period. There exist various bone graft options that can be employed. Please refer to our Bone Graft Section which describes the options available. Even the day of surgery, you’ll notice an improvement in the esthetics of your smile through the reestablishment of more natural gum architecture.

Dr. Novack is committed to ensuring our patients receive an exceptional treatment result. You will be seen biweekly first to remove the sutures and thereafter, to evaluate your healing. During post operative visits Dr. Novack will perform whatever remedial care may be required to ensure that your treatment result is optimal. The surgical site is generally fully healed within two months following the procedure. Dr. Novack will collaborate on an ongoing basis with the restorative dentist. Once healing is complete, you will be referred back to your restorative dentist who will be responsible for managing your restorative – prosthetic treatment needs

A local anesthetic will be used to ensure you are pain free during any surgical procedure. Often our patients request sedation to establish and maintain a state of relaxation and calm. Please refer to our Sedation Tab which outlines various sedation options available to you. Dr. Novack is committed to ensuring that treatment is performed in a caring and compassionate manner. Do not hesitate to contact Dr. Novack personally regarding the specifics of your case and which option might be best to return you back to a state of health and a cosmetically pleasing smile.

Combination Procedures

Rarely in life are we presented with all or nothing propositions! In most instances, when teeth are lost, a deficiency develops involving both the jawbone and overlying gum. Dr. Novack channels years of experience, precision surgical execution and an artistic passion to recreate the anatomic form and function that existed prior to the loss of your teeth. Each case presents with unique challenges and opportunities. We encourage you to contact Dr. Novack for a consultation so that he can best assess the requirements specific to your situation. Education is an important element in the establishment of trust and relationship. Dr. Novack will take the time to inform you of the steps necessary to return you back to the state of health that existed prior to the loss of  your tooth (or teeth).

What is involved in a Combination Ridge Augmentation Procedure?

A combination ridge augmentation involves employing both bone and gum grafts, in essence a combination of graft materials to restore the lost gum and jawbone. Generally the most favorable results are achieved procedures in conjunction with tooth removal.  From a humanistic perspective, this then avoids the need for a secondary surgery

The first phase of the procedure involves reconstruction of lost bone. Dr. Novack will utilize the bone graft material that best addresses the defects specific anatomy. In combination procedures, a gum graft is then placed over the bone graft site. The purpose for the gum graft is to achieve an optimal esthetic result. Dependent on the specifics of your case, Dr. Novack may alternatively choose to employ a space-augmenting product over top of the bone graft to more fully restore the height and width of the jawbone defect. Once the area has healed and a healthy natural architecture reestablished, a dental implant or a bridge can be considered.

Ridge augmentation procedures as with all surgeries, are performed in Dr. Novack’s clinic. Your comfort and safety are of paramount concern. A local anesthetic will be used to ensure there will be no pain during any surgical procedure. Often, our patients request sedative medications to establish and maintain a state of relaxation and calm. Please refer to our Sedation Section which outlines various sedation options available to assist you. Dr. Novack’s philosophy is to ensure that your treatment is performed in a caring and compassionate manner. Please feel free to discuss any questions regarding your case management or sedative options with Dr. Novack.