Bone grafting is a procedure that is generally recommended before dental implant placement for patients who have suffered a significant amount of bone loss in their jaw. It is recommended to improve the strength of the jawbone, which helps to increase the stability and long-term success of dental implant treatment. At Gregory J. Gorman, DMD, we perform many types of bone grafting procedures, including a ridge augmentation.
The Goal of a Ridge Augmentation
A ridge augmentation is a procedure that also involves bone grafting. The goal of the procedure is to encourage the growth of new bone tissue and tissues that attach your teeth into your jaw. This helps to increase the strength of your jaw after bone loss. The bone is made stronger and denser. The procedure also helps to improve and smooth the contours of your jaw where it has become indented due to bone loss. This helps to restore a much more natural appearance. Moreover, with a stronger jawbone, we can also more successfully place dental implants as a treatment for your tooth loss.
Where Does the Bone Come From?
Ridge augmentation uses bone grafting to help restore missing bone mass from your jaw. This bone can come from a variety of sources. One source is from your own body. Using your own tissue does have significant benefits. The biggest drawback, however, is that you will need to have an additional surgical site so that we can harvest the bone.
Bone may also be taken from a donor. This tissue is taken from a tissue bank. We screen the tissue before using it to ensure that it is safe. The major benefit of this type of graft is that you do not have to worry about having additional surgery, or about having to care for an additional surgical site while you heal.
Sometimes, animal bone may be used to perform your graft. Alternatively, we may recommend synthetic bone grafting materials. The type graft we use for you will depend upon your specific situation.
Protecting the Graft Site
After the bone graft has been completed, a mesh barrier may be placed over the site before closing the surgical incisions. This barrier helps to keep your healing gum tissue separate from your healing bone, preventing soft tissue from growing into where hard tissue should be growing. Platelet rich plasma (PRP) may also be used to help speed up the recovery from your ridge augmentation as well as keep the surgical site safe from bacteria that could cause infections.
How Long After a Ridge Augmentation Will I Have to Wait for Dental Implants?
It will be a while after your ridge augmentation before your dental implants can be placed. It is important to give your jawbone time to heal and regain its strength. It generally takes a few months to heal from the procedure. With regularly scheduled follow up appointments, we can monitor your progress. Once you have fully healed, you can then be scheduled for your surgical procedure to have your dental implants placed.
For more information on ridge augmentation, and our other bone grafting procedures, contact Gregory J. Gorman, DMD at (970) 812-3959 today.