Ridge Expansion

Periodontist in St. Louis, Missouri

When teeth are lost and not replaced with implants soon after, the bone in the area tends to shrink away, making it less esthetic or difficult to place implants. In severe cases, the ridge has been reabsorbed, and a bone graft is placed to increase ridge height and/or width.

Ridge Expansion

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Understanding Ridge Expansion

Ridge expansion, also known as ridge augmentation, is a surgical procedure aimed at reconstructing the jawbone where it has deteriorated due to tooth loss. This procedure is essential for patients who have experienced significant bone loss and require additional bone volume to support dental implants. By rebuilding the jawbone, ridge expansion provides the necessary structure for implant placement, ensuring long-term stability and success.

Why You Might Need Ridge Expansion

Several factors can lead to the need for ridge expansion, including:

  • Tooth Loss: When teeth are lost and not replaced promptly, the surrounding bone can begin to resorb or shrink away.
  • Bone Resorption: The natural process of bone resorption occurs when the jawbone no longer receives stimulation from tooth roots, leading to a decrease in bone volume.
  • Infection or Trauma: Infections or trauma can damage the jawbone, resulting in bone loss.
  • Periodontal Disease: Advanced periodontal disease can cause significant bone loss around the teeth.

The Ridge Expansion Procedure

Ridge expansion is a multi-step procedure that involves precise surgical techniques to increase the bone volume in the jaw. Here’s what you can expect during the process:

    1. Consultation and Diagnosis: During your initial consultation, Dr. Schlueter and Dr. Boszko will conduct a thorough examination of your oral health, including X-rays and 3D imaging, to assess the extent of bone loss and determine the best treatment plan for you.
    2. Preparation: Prior to the procedure, we will review your medical history, discuss sedation options, and provide pre-operative instructions to ensure your comfort and safety.

Surgical Procedure:

    1. Incision and Flap Creation: Small incisions are made in the gum tissue to expose the area of the jawbone where the ridge expansion will take place.
    2. Bone Grafting: Depending on the extent of bone loss, various bone grafting materials may be used, including autografts (bone from your own body), allografts (donor bone), xenografts (animal bone), or synthetic materials.
    3. Ridge Expansion: In cases where the bone is too narrow, a ridge expansion technique may be used. This involves creating a small “greenstick” fracture in the bone and inserting a grafting material to widen the ridge.
    4. Membrane Placement: A biocompatible membrane may be placed over the graft to protect it and promote healing.
    5. Suturing: The gum tissue is then repositioned and sutured back into place.
    6. Recovery and Aftercare: After the procedure, you may experience some swelling and discomfort, which can be managed with prescribed medications. Detailed post-operative care instructions will be provided to ensure optimal healing. Follow-up appointments will be scheduled to monitor your progress and evaluate the success of the graft.

Benefits of Ridge Expansion

  • Restores Jawbone Volume: Increases the height and width of the jawbone, creating a stable foundation for dental implants.
  • Enhances Aesthetics: Improves the appearance of the jawline and supports facial structures, preventing a “sunken” look.
  • Enables Implant Placement: Provides the necessary bone volume to successfully place dental implants, ensuring their long-term stability and function.
  • Prevents Further Bone Loss: By stimulating bone growth, ridge expansion helps to prevent further resorption and maintains the health of the jawbone.

Contact Us

If you have experienced bone loss due to tooth loss or other factors and are considering dental implants, ridge expansion at Schlueter Periodontics & Implants may be the solution you need. Our team is here to guide you through every step of the process, from initial consultation to post-operative care. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward restoring your oral health and smile.

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