You might know that when you lose a tooth that there are things that we might be able to do to replace it. You might even have a general idea that replacing a tooth has something to do with an implant of some type. There is a lot more to the whole process of replacing a tooth than that. It can take time for a dental implant to set and finally become a part of your mouth, but it is worth it.
Here at Dr. Xixi Wu we have helped many others to have new teeth through implants, and if you are missing a tooth, we would like to see if you are a candidate for it as well. For some patients, ridge augmentation is part of the process. Here is what you need to know.
Ridge Augmentation Could Be Part of the Implant Process
A dental implant is not just to help you to be able to eat and speak better. We want you to look better as well. That is where ridge augmentation comes in. Tooth extraction is the term that we use when we need to remove a tooth. When we do that, sometimes the alveolar ridge (that is the bone that surrounds the root of a tooth) has a gap in it. The gap will heal over time, but it could still be noticeable. That is why we might suggest a ridge augmentation. With this, we will perform a bone graft so that there will no longer be a hole there.
With the bone graft, we will fill the socket with a small amount of ground bone. This will then fuse with your jaw and will become a new bone in your jaw. The process can take several weeks. Ridge augmentation can be done for aesthetic reasons, but there is also another reason why we might want to perform the surgery. If we decide together that you will have a dental implant to replace the tooth that we extracted, a ridge augmentation might be necessary. That is because you need to have a certain amount of bone in your jaw in order for the implant to take. With a ridge augmentation, there will be enough bone.
Some people decide that they do not want to have a ridge augmentation after a tooth extraction because they are not going to replace the tooth that was extracted. That is your decision. There are also plenty of times when a ridge augmentation is not necessary.
A ridge augmentation could be one of several steps that we will need to take to replace a tooth that has been extracted. The entire process from extraction to a full permanent implant could take several weeks or perhaps even months. Here at Dr. Xixi Wu, we would be happy to talk to you about all of your options. Call us at (972) 669-9444 so that we can make an appointment. We want to see you soon, even if you have not been to a dentist in a while. We want you to have a healthy mouth.