What is Ridge Preservation?
Ridge preservation is a type of periodontal surgery based on bone grafting. It is used to prevent bone loss from missing or extracted teeth. Bone loss naturally occurs after teeth are lost or pulled. Preventing bone loss is essential to preventing a number of painful conditions.
What Happens During Ridge Preservation?
There are a number of steps involved in performing a ridge preservation operation. They include:
- Teeth are removed
- Incisions are cut to pull the gums back
- The empty tooth sockets are filled with a bone substitute
- In some cases, a collagen membrane may be applied to further assist bone regeneration
- The gums are then sutured back in place
A qualified periodontal specialist can help patients decide on the appropriate bone substitute. There are a number of different options for the bone substitute, including:
- Autogenous Bone Grafts – Grafts that come from the patient’s own body
- Allografts – Grafts that are provided by a human donor other than the patient
- Alloplasts – Grafts made from synthetic material
- Xenografts – Grafts made from the natural material of another species
What are the Benefits of Ridge Preservation?
While there are a number of benefits to ridge preservation, they can be broadly broken down into two categories: cosmetic and health benefits.
The cosmetic benefits of ridge preservation include helping preserve the natural shape of the patient’s jaw and mouth. Bone loss can cause the mouth to sag and can alter the shape of the jaw. Ridge preservation prevents bone loss, preserving the shape of the patient’s mouth and face.
Ridge preservation can, in some cases, form the foundation for dental implants, which can replace lost teeth and restore the patient’s smile and self-confidence.
Bone loss can lead to serious infections and complications, and can result in difficulty talking and eating. Ridge preservation also helps prevent the loss of additional teeth to accelerating bone loss. Furthermore, because ridge preservation can, in some cases, form the basis for dental implants, it can help patients eat the foods they enjoy and speak the way they used to.
Should I get Ridge Preservation?
If you have recently lost a permanent tooth, are planning to have a tooth extracted, or experience bone loss from a missing tooth, you may be a candidate for ridge preservation. As with any medical question, it is important to talk to a qualified professional to help you make the best decision. Dr. Kathleen A. Stambaugh is a periodontal and implantology specialist in Burlington, WA. Her practice specializes in the treatment of gum disease including cosmetic procedures to aesthetically enhance your smile, and replace missing teeth using dental implant technology. She also diagnoses and treats oral pathosis.
With over 65 years of combined research and practice, Pericowest Periodontics provides cutting edge implant and periodontal disease services and treatments. Kathleen A. Stambaugh’s office is nestled in the city of Burlington, surrounded by farm fields and foothills, providing a calm and serene place of practice that is reflected in the patients’ treatment experience.