One of the periodontal procedures that the team here at Lovett Dental Northside can implement for our patients is ridge augmentation. Ridge augmentation services are a lesser-known but vital set of procedures that can make a real difference in the life of anyone who has lost an adult tooth or had one extracted. Below, we will explain this procedure, as well as who can benefit from it.

What Is Ridge Augmentation? Dr. walks a woman through the process of ridge augmentation

Ridge augmentation is the process of fixing indentations that can develop in a patient’s gums and the jaw’s bony tissue when a tooth is extracted or lost. These indentations, also called concavities, are a normal byproduct of having a tooth removed.

Patients who don’t receive any preventative dental treatment after extraction are likely to experience withering and decay in the jaw and gum. These preventative treatments are often referred to as socket preservation procedures, and they can be done simultaneously as an extraction.

Ridge augmentation isn’t preventative in nature. It’s a procedure used after the fact to restore lost gum tissue, lost bone tissue, or both.

What Problems Can Occur Without Ridge Augmentation?

If a patient needs ridge augmentation and doesn’t get it, he or she can encounter a host of challenges, including these:

  • Aesthetic concerns
  • Disfigurement due to withered tissue
  • Problems chewing, especially sharp foods (like chips)
  • Shifting of remaining teeth
  • Problems installing a bridge or implant in the future

The indentations or concavities left in the spaces where teeth used to be can be unpleasant to look at. As the tissue loss and withering continue, these indentations can even become disfiguring.

But beyond the aesthetic problems, there are dental problems as well. Chewing certain foods can become difficult. Also, without some mechanism to maintain space in the mouth, the remaining teeth will shift toward the gap, creating alignment problems that can further decay. The best mechanisms for maintaining this space are a dental implant or a bridge.

But installing an implant or a bridge requires adequate gum and bone tissue. Installing these devices into a socket with an indentation will result in an unnatural looking replacement tooth that doesn’t fit into the tooth line. The implant may not even be secure and could detach.

When Is Ridge Augmentation Necessary?

Most patients who didn’t receive a socket preservation procedure after having a tooth extracted will need ridge augmentation before they can successfully get an implant or a bridge. The same goes for anyone who has lost an adult tooth while not under dental care. If there is an untreated tooth-sized gap in your smile, you will likely need ridge augmentation services before filling that gap.

Even if you’re not interested in or cannot afford implant or bridge services at this time, you should still consider ridge augmentation. And we can never recommend skipping the socket preservation procedure should you need extraction in the future.

At Lovett Dental Northside, we believe it’s always best to maintain natural gum and bone health in the mouth. That said, it’s never too late to improve your periodontal health. If you’re suffering from embarrassing gaps and concavities in your gums, ridge augmentation services could be the answer.

Lovett Dental Northside: Your Destination for Ridge Augmentation Procedures

If you have lost a tooth or gone through the process of extraction, don’t let your jawbone to continue to deteriorate. With ridge augmentation services from Lovett Dental Northside, you can restore lost bone and regain better function. You will also enjoy better confidence, knowing that your smile is one step closer to repair. Contact us at 713-691-5551, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. In one visit, we can determine whether ridge augmentation is right for you.