It’s common for people to be missing bone tissue in the oral cavity. This bone loss can happen for a number of reasons, including having missing teeth, not using proper dental hygiene, and having tumors and cysts that affect the bone. It’s never good to have missing bone tissue no matter where it is, and when it’s in the oral cavity, it can cause a lot of problems. That’s why we offer both bone grafts and ridge augmentation to help in these situations.
The two of these are similar, but they aren’t exactly the same things. With our help, you can add bone tissue and maintain it is that the bone doesn’t start to recede again. So, just what are these services?
If you have one or more teeth missing, you may be interested in getting a dental implant or implants to replace them. However, you must be a good candidate for this procedure in order to get it. You have to have a good amount of bone in the area so that the bone can support an implant. If you have too little bone for this procedure, you may need a bone graft to increase the mass of the bone in that area. We do bone grafts regularly to make people better candidates for getting implants.
A lot of people lose bone mass in their jaws, and this can happen for a variety of reasons. Getting a bone graft adds more bone to the jaw and stimulates the bone to start to regenerate so that you have denser, stronger bone in that area. When you get a dental implant, a titanium post must be implanted into the bone, so having strong bone tissue is vital to the process. When you have lost bone for any reason, a bone graft can add enough so that the bone can hold into the implanted post.
This procedure requires taking bone from elsewhere and grafting it to the jaw to make the bone thicker. With this procedure done, it takes a few months for the bone to grow into thicker bone that may be ready for an implant. To find out whether you need this, the doctor can take jaw X-rays and see whether you need one in order to build up the bone. Often, a bone graft is done at the same time that you get a tooth extracted so that you will eventually be able to get an implant once it heals.
There are different kinds of bone grafts. An autograph is done with bone that is taken from somewhere else in your body and placed in the oral cavity. An alloplastic bone graft takes natural minerals and uses those to build up the bone. An allograft is a type that uses bone that is not from the patient to make the bone denser.
Some people end up needing a ridge augmentation when they no longer have the natural contours of their jaw and gums after a tooth extraction or other procedure left their face looking different. The bone mass that you have in your jaws supports your face in many ways. When the bone has deteriorated, as often happens when a tooth is missing, you may see differences in your face and want to get a ridge augmentation to get its natural contours back.
This procedure requires surgery to improve on the size and shape of the alveolar ridge. It gets this area ready to better take on any type of dental prosthesis that is going to be added to it. During this procedure, the entire ridge may be enhanced, or the enhancement may be to one specific area. Which focus is needed will be determined prior to the surgery and is based on a number of factors including what kind of prosthesis you will be getting and how much bone deterioration has occurred.
It isn’t always medically necessary to do a ridge augmentation, and some people get it for purely cosmetic reasons. If they don’t like that their face has lost some support from the bone as it has deteriorated, getting this procedure can give them the support they’re looking for to get better facial support and to get back their more youthful looks.
The Differences Between Them
The biggest difference between these two procedures is that they each have a different scope. When a bone graft is done, it is used to get the bone to heal and to encourage it to regenerate so that you can get a dental implant to replace a missing tooth. A ridge augmentation is done to fully shape and lend form to the jaw after you have already had a bone graft. Both can help you with the bone in your jaw, but they each have different goals to accomplish.
Whether you are getting a bone graft or a ridge augmentation, our team at The Center for Family & Implant Dentistry will take the time to make sure you are comfortable throughout the procedure. We want to help you to look your best and to have jaws that perform the way you want them to. Contact us at The Center for Family & Implant Dentistry to schedule your consultation.