Ridge preservation, aka socket preservation, is a procedure in which the dentist uses bone grafting material to prevent the loss of bone structure and protect the alveolar ridge after tooth extraction. The loss of teeth can be accompanied by a subsequent loss of bone structure, which prevents you from getting dental implants in the future. However, ridge preservation prevents the loss of jawbone structure, leaving your options open.

Ridge preservation isn’t an essential of necessary procedure. However, Sapphire Smiles wants to give you all the information and options, allowing you to make an informed decision. After your tooth extraction, our dentist will discuss the potential benefits or drawbacks of ridge preservation, allowing you to determine if you need it. Please continue reading to learn more about the alveolar ridge preservation surgery in Sapphire Smiles.

Prevent the loss of bone structure with ridge preservation. Book your appointment today!

Introduction to Ridge Preservation, aka Ridge Augmentation, aka Socket Preservation

When you lose a tooth, either because of dental decay or other dental problems, the alveolar ridge and socket under the tooth are left unprotected. Without a tooth to support, the alveolar ridge and bone structure under the empty socket start degenerating. Ridge preservation is a surgical procedure used to protect the empty socket and prevent bone loss from the alveolar ridge.

Ridge preservation goes by many names, including ridge augmentation, socket preservation, alveolar ridge preservation, and bone augmentation surgery. All of these names hint at the different purposes of the same procedure. During the ridge preservation and augmentation procedure, the dentist plants bone grafting material into the empty socket of the missing tooth. This simultaneously protects the empty socket and preserves the alveolar ridge, preventing bone loss.

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Benefits of Socket Preservation/ Alveolar Ridge Augmentation

Dry Socket

After tooth removal, the empty socket only has a blood clot to protect the nerves underneath. As such, the empty socket is weak and vulnerable. Dry socket refers to a condition in which the blood clot comes off, exposing the underlying nerves to environmental conditions, leading to extreme pain and sensitivity. That’s why tooth extraction and socket preservation go together. The socket preservation surgery protects the weakened and vulnerable socket, preventing dry socket.

Alveolar Ridge Preservation

The roots of your teeth are surrounded by a bone structure called the alveolar ridge. After tooth loss, the alveolar ridge no longer has any purpose, and it slowly starts disintegrating. You lose around 25% of the alveolar ridge within a year of the tooth extraction. Eventually, the alveolar ridge bone structure may atrophy. Alveolar ridge preservation prevents bone loss and even facilitates bone augmentation.

Dental Implants

A dental implant is a titanium post drilled into the alveolar ridge under the empty socket of a missing tooth. The dentist plants the titanium post into the alveolar ridge to serve as a replacement root. Over time, the alveolar ridge grows around the titanium post, firmly rooting it in place, making it a part of your anatomy. Once the jawbone has healed, the dentist attached a dental crown over the implant. As such, dental implants are the ideal permanent replacements for missing teeth. However, you can only get dental implants if you have sufficient alveolar ridge to support the implant, and that can only happen because of alveolar ridge preservation.

Cosmetic Benefit

After tooth extraction, the surrounding teeth start drifting away, leading to misalignment and other cosmetic issues. Furthermore, the loss of bone structure also affects your facial structure, making it appear saggy. As such, alveolar ridge preservation maintains your facial cosmetic structure.

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Bone Augmentation Surgery Procedure

The bone augmentation surgery is done immediately after tooth extraction to prevent bone loss. After examining the empty socket, the dentist will discuss the possible bone grafting materials — another part of your body, an organ donor, an animal, or synthetic bone grafting materials. During the ridge augmentation surgery, the dentist will create an incision on your empty socket and place collagen and the grafting material with the alveolar ridge. The collagen helps with healing, and the grafting material prevents bone loss.

Are you interested in a dental implant? You may need ridge preservation to help support your dental implant. Schedule your appointment today.

Ridge Preservation Q&As

What is the ridge we refer to?

The “ridge” refers to the alveolar ridge, one of the jaw bones holding your teeth in place.

How is a ridge augmentation accomplished?

The dentist plants bone grafting material and collagen into the empty socket of the missing tooth. The grafting material and collagen prevent bone loss and facilitate bone augmentation of the alveolar ridge.

When is ridge augmentation necessary?

Ridge augmentation isn’t a necessary procedure, but it’s highly recommended if you intend to get dental implants later. The ridge augmentation surgery, conducted soon after tooth extraction, prevents bone loss, and ensures the alveolar ridge is prepared to receive dental implants later.

What are the potential benefits of ridge preservation?

  • Socket preservation prevents dry socket.
  • Ridge preservation prevents bone loss.
  • Ridge augmentation ensures your alveolar ridge is prepared to receive dental implants later.
  • Alveolar ridge preservation prevents bone loss, which also has a cosmetic benefit for your teeth.

Do you want to learn more about Ridge Preservation? Ask us!

Contact Sapphire Smiles for Ridge Preservation in Houston Heights

At Sapphire Smiles, we provide the latest and safest dental procedures to help you achieve and maintain a beautiful smile. We also believe that you should be informed of all your dentistry choices, allowing you to make an informed decision regarding your dental health. As such, if you’ve lost a tooth or had your tooth pulled, our dentist will discuss the potential benefits of a ridge preservation surgery. For more information, please schedule an appointment to discuss your restorative dentistry choices with Dr. Antoun in Houston Heights.