Tooth loss can have some pretty devastating results on your oral health. Whenever you are facing the loss of teeth you should consider tooth replacement immediately following. When teeth are lost and not replaced, after some time the bone in your jaw can begin to recede. Eventually, if your jaw experiences enough bone loss it will not be able to support permanent tooth replacement options. In cases where bone loss is extreme and the patient desires a permanent tooth replacement option we can perform a procedure known as ridge augmentation.
To understand what ridge augmentation is meant to accomplish it is important to first understand what the ridge is that we are referring to.
What is the ridge we refer to?
Consider your mouth, there’s the teeth, the gums, and the bone below the gums that supports both structures. Your mouth has two arches that support teeth, the upper arch and the lower arch. In the both arches of your mouth that bone forms a ridge – on the bottom arch that ridge extends upward from the chin toward the nose, on the top arch that ridge extends downward from the nose to the chin.
When tooth loss occurs, the ridge of bone that supported the teeth stops being stimulated and will eventually succumb to bone loss. Most of that bone loss occurs in the ridge, sometimes the height of the ridge shrinks, sometimes the width shrinks, sometimes both shrink. Because the ridge provides all the structural support for the teeth and gums, it is essential to the integrity and success of the teeth and dental implants.
How does ridge augmentation work?
When you want implants and need to regain the structural support of bone that has been lost, we can perform a number of ridge augmentation procedures to give you back the bone you’ve lost. Bone grafts are the primary way that we build the bone in the jaw back up.
The bone that we use in bone grafting procedures is obtained from one of the following three places: bone from the patient, bone from a cadaver, or bone from a biologically similar animal such as a pig. To accomplish the graft, we will make an incision in the gum to access the bone below. We will place the new bone material and then re-cover the site with the gums, finishing it by suturing it shut.
The Healing Process
Bone can take much longer to mend than soft tissue so the healing process can take a few months. Sometimes we can place dental implants at the same time that we place a bone graft, sometimes the circumstances won’t allow it. It’s all dependent on the particular case, our main concern is giving you a finished product that will promote a healthy mouth long into the future.
If you are tired of missing teeth and all of the annoyances and disadvantages that it entails, give us a call and we can get you started on the road toward permanent tooth replacement.
Please call us today at (972) 539-1491 to schedule an appointment. Remember to brush after breakfast and before bed, and floss at least once per day to ensure a healthy mouth!
John C. Shillingburg, DDS
Board Certified by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Dr. John Shillingburg is proud to be a native Texan. After graduating from Texas A&M with a bachelor's degree in Biomedical Science and from the University of Texas Dental School in San Antonio with a doctorate degree in dental science, Dr. Shillingburg completed a general dentistry residency at Fort Carson in Colorado. Read more.
is located in a beautiful new building right off of Long Prairie Road in Flower Mound, TX. With close parking and easy accessibility. Contact John C. Shillingburg, DDS, at our Flower Mound, TX 75028-1795 location. We are here for you. (972) 539-1491