Ridge augmentation procedures are used to correct depressions in the jawbone where natural teeth are missing. Ridge augmentation can often help with aesthetics, functional, oral hygiene and speech problems. Minor procedures can be easy to perform and a high success rate is seen.
- Improves esthetics, function, oral hygiene and maybe speech problems (front area)
- Regeneration of sufficient bone to place implants in the proper positions for your new teeth.
- Greater stability for full dentures
- Corrects depressions in your gum line that look unnatural, e.g. where the gum and bone has “collapsed” and is missing under crowns and bridges
- Corrects bone defects as part of periodontal treatment
- Corrects bone defects before or at the same time as implant insertion
- Supports and fills sinus argumentation during implant insertion
When do you need bone grafting? (Source: Osteohealth Co.)
How is it done? (Source: Osteohealth Co.)
Depending on the starting point, the procedure is a little different. Below you can see a bone grafting after removal of a tooth:
Using your own bone
In addition to purchased bone material, you can also use your own bone to fill in a defect and it gives a better result. Most often you will not be able to fill in 100% with your own bone, so 50/50 of your own bone and purchased bone is also a good option. The source of your own bone can come from:
- Around the defect. Bone chips can be scraped off
- Another place from the jaw, e.g. the chin or behind the wisdom tooth if a major defect has to be corrected in association with an implant
- The collarbone or from the hip if the entire jaw has shrunk a lot. See the picture below. This procedure is only performed in hospitals.
Below you see a jaw just after tooth extraction and a jaw where the bone is gone after many years of toothlessness.
Source: Osteohealth Co.
Is bone grafting painful?
You are locally anesthetized and will not be able to feel anything. After the treatment, there will be some swelling and discomfort. If your own bone is used, the discomfort will subsequently be greater, as the intervention is greater. It can be done with over-the-counter painkillers.
The healing process
The gums usually heal in 1-2 weeks and the sutures are removed. When bone grafting is performed in a “independent” procedure, it is typically necessary to wait 4-6 months before the implant can be inserted.
In general, most people can get bone grafting. Age and the length of time the bone has been missing are not negative factors. Some medical conditions and smoking will often cause delayed healing and complications.