you've lost a tooth to periodontal disease, tooth decay, or trauma, you
may be left with a cleft, an indentation, or uneven gum margins. This
happens because after a tooth is removed, the bone that was encasing it
disintegrates and the gum around it collapses. If this occurs in the
front of the mouth, it can result in an esthetic problem. No matter how well designed the replacement teeth are, they may appear to be too long, and unattractive. To have a pleasing smile, the shape, color, and texture of the gums is just as important as that of the teeth they frame.
Ridge augmentation is a cosmetic periodontal procedure that may include gum and/or bone grafting. Your dentist will determine which option is better suited to your esthetic needs. Regardless
of what treatment method your dentist chooses, ridge augmentation is a
very predictable procedure with long lasting results.
What to expect:
augmentation is a surgical procedure that is done in the
dentist’s office with local anesthesia (lidocaine). Stitches
(sutures) are placed to aid in healing. Post-surgical discomfort can
last a few days and is usually minimal. It can be easily managed with
commonly available over the counter medications such as aspirin,
acetaminophen, or ibuprofen. Patients can expect to follow their normal routine the day after surgery. The dentist will give you special instructions related to diet, exercise and medications.
To ensure more esthetic results, ridge augmentation procedures should always be done before new crowns are made. Although
a temporary (provisional) tooth replacement can be made at the time of
tooth loss, the final restoration should not be fabricated until after
six to eight weeks of gum healing.
It is possible to help prevent collapse of the gum tissue by doing a bone grafting procedure or by placing an implant
at the time of extraction. Although sometimes it may still be necessary
to do further periodontal plastic surgery procedures, these treatments
can help maintain the space that was previously occupied by the tooth
and prevent bone loss. If this was not feasible, ridge augmentation can be done to improve esthetics after tooth extraction.
augmentation should be considered as part of your cosmetic dentistry
options when there are uneven gum contours, clefts or indentations on
the gums. The most beautiful teeth will not look natural if the gum surrounding them is not cosmetically pleasing. Talk to your dentist about your esthetic concerns and the possibility of incorporating cosmetic periodontal procedures as part of your ‘smile-lift’.
Back to Patient Information