In severe cases, the ridge (remaining jawbone) has reabsorbed (shrunken) and a bone graft is placed to increase ridge height and/or width. This is a technique used to restore the lost bone dimension when the jaw ridge gets too thin to place conventional implants. In this procedure, the bony ridge of the jaw is literally expanded by mechanical means. Bone graft material can be placed and matured for a few months before placing the implant.
Ridge Preservation / Socket preservation
Careful management of extraction sockets after a tooth extraction procedure prevents unsightly bone loss and provides a better cosmetic outcome for tooth replacement. Following the tooth extraction procedure, bone augmentation is immediately performed to minimize bone resorption or bone shrinkage, which would otherwise naturally occur once a tooth is removed and result in a compromised site.
After a tooth extraction, the gum heals down in the socket before the bone has time to completely reform, leaving a resorbed ridge. To prevent bone resorption after extraction, we suggest the socket be filled with a material (bone graft) that reduces gum shrinkage or the socket be isolated with a membrane that prevents gum downgrowth (See Guided Tissue Regeneration). Treating the problem before it occurs is ideal.