Many patients have questions about what comes next after losing a tooth or having one removed. Tooth loss (even deliberate tooth loss resulting from extraction) can have side effects if the proper follow-up care is not provided. For our patients at Lovett Dental Webster, ridge augmentation is an essential part of that care. Ridge augmentation is a procedure that prevents bone deterioration of the jaw after tooth loss and can help prepare your jaw for a dental implant should you so choose.
Reasons for Ridge Augmentation
The “ridge” in ridge augmentation surgery refers to the alveolar ridge of the jaw. This is the bone that surrounds the roots of the teeth. When a tooth is lost or removed, it leaves an empty socket in the alveolar ridge, which, for many people, naturally fills with bone and tissue to heal on its own. But in many cases, the socket does not heal properly following tooth loss, and bone loss can occur.
This shrinkage of the bone, also called jawbone recession, can alter your smile and appearance and potentially lead to additional medical problems. Ridge augmentation is a simple surgery that halts this bone loss, prevents changes to your appearance, and prepares your jaw for a dental implant to replace your missing tooth.
Who Needs a Ridge Augmentation
Anyone who has lost a tooth or had a tooth removed is a candidate for ridge augmentation surgery. Ideally, ridge augmentation should be done as soon as possible after the tooth is removed. In most cases, when an oral surgeon extracts a tooth, they will perform a ridge augmentation at the same time to avoid the need for additional surgery. But if you went to a different dentist and did not do this, that doesn’t mean it’s too late.
Recovery From Ridge Augmentation
Ridge augmentation is a minor surgery, but it is still surgery. A trained and certified periodontist should only perform it, and you must take care and precautions after your surgery to heal properly. Your dentist will go over the recovery process before your ridge augmentation and let you know what you should do. This includes:
- Avoid strenuous activities and get lots of rest.
- Do not spit or use a straw during the first 24 to 48 hours of recovery.
- Eat only soft foods until your gums have started to heal.
- Begin eating different foods gradually as you heal.
- Give yourself several weeks before eating anything crunchy or spicy.
Choosing Lovett Dental Webster for Your Ridge Augmentation
It is of the utmost importance that you work with a trusted and qualified dental team for your ridge augmentation. The periodontists at Lovett Dental Webster are board-certified and thoroughly trained in ridge augmentation services, along with additional periodontic services, including:
- osseous surgery
- gum recession
- tissue grafting
- crown lengthening
We’re committed to delivering lasting results for our patients and making the entire experience as pleasant as possible. Our dentists understand that many people have anxieties about dental procedures and are always happy to listen to all your concerns and offer peace of mind. Sedation dentistry is available for anyone who needs it, including oral sedation and IV sedation, and nitrous oxide.
Learn More About Ridge Augmentation
If you’ve lost a tooth or had a tooth removed, ridge augmentation is a key part of the recovery process. Ridge augmentation is a safe and effective procedure that can restore dental health and stave off deterioration in your jawbone after tooth extraction. Contact Lovett Dental Webster today at 832.909.1469, or contact us online to learn more about our ridge augmentation services or schedule a consultation. Our team is committed to your and your family’s oral health.