When teeth are extracted, the bone often resorbs during healing and leaves an indentation in the gum. When a bridge is placed, this concavity prevents the artificial tooth from looking real – it looks like it is just lying on the gum. By repairing the ridge defect with a ridge augmentation, the artificial tooth now looks like it is growing out of the gum, and cannot be distinguished from the natural teeth.
Severe ridge defect after extraction
Ridge augmented to return normal shape
Deficient ridge making artificial tooth look unnatural
Ridge augmented so artificial tooth appears to emerge from gum
The best way to treat a ridge deficiency is to prevent it from occurring. The amount of bone loss from an extraction can be minimized by performing a ridge augmentation at the time of extraction.