Tooth extractions and jawbone recession can both cause changes in the natural shape of your gums and jaw. In many cases, these changes can also affect your candidacy for certain tooth replacement treatments, including dental implants and dentures. Fortunately, the team at Knoxville Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, P.C., can perform a ridge augmentation to maintain your alveolar ridge. Drs. Turner P. Emery and Michael D. Wooten can perform this advanced procedure in a private surgical center at our Knoxville, TN, practice. We can also perform this treatment immediately after tooth extraction for streamlined care.
When Is a Ridge Augmentation Needed?
The alveolar ridge is the section of the jaw which holds tooth roots in place. When a tooth is removed or falls out, it leaves an empty socket in the ridge, which typically heals without intervention.
However, in some cases, the walls of the socket break or recede. Your doctor can perform a ridge augmentation to rebuild the walls of the alveolar ridge with grafting material or prevent damage. Our team often recommends ridge augmentations for patients who:
- Do not qualify for dental implants due to bone loss
- Dislike the appearance of their gum line due to issues with the alveolar ridge
- Have trouble wearing dentures comfortably due to tissue recession
- Want to preserve the shape of their jaw after tooth extraction
How the Procedure Works
Typically, we can perform ridge augmentation under local anesthesia. However, we also offer several forms of sedation for improved comfort. For some patients, only a small graft is needed. For others, the entire ridge needs rebuilding. The duration of your treatment will depend on how much work is needed.
Depending on your needs, we can perform this procedure immediately after a tooth extraction to prevent issues with your jaw during the healing process.
During the procedure, Dr. Emery, or Dr. Wooten will create an incision in the gum line at the treatment area. Then they will pack the area with the donor material to rebuild the alveolar ridge. Once complete, they will close the incisions with sutures.
After Your Ridge Augmentation
The incisions in the gums will typically heal in about two weeks. It can take four to six months for the grafted tissue to fully integrate with your jaw. We will monitor your healing during follow-up appointments. If you wish to replace a tooth with an implant-supported restoration, we will determine when it is safe to proceed with placement surgery.
Schedule a Consultation
At Knoxville Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, we offer a full range of surgical procedures to improve your oral health. From bone grafting and ridge augmentation to implant placement, we can help you with a variety of issues. Contact our office online or call (865) 584-6207 to speak with a knowledgeable member of our team today.