Did you know that there’s more to losing a tooth than a gap in your smile? Losing a tooth due to a necessary extraction, injury, decay, and gum disease can have a lasting impact on both the appearance and health of your smile. When left untreated, the gaps left by missing teeth can affect the structure of your jawbone.
In fact, the onset of jawbone degeneration occurs almost immediately after losing a tooth. The jawbone will start shrinking and weakening, making it hard to support tooth restorations later on, such as dental implants.
Did you recently have a tooth extracted? It’s always a good idea to keep your options open for tooth restoration and replacement. See how a periodontist in Etobicoke can help you get ready for implants with ridge preservation.
What is ridge preservation?
What happens when I lose a tooth?
Ridge preservation is a periodontal treatment that preserves the socket or the gap where the tooth is anchored to the jawbone. When you lose a tooth, the socket is eventually reabsorbed into the jawbone, eventually closing that gap and shrinking the bone.
This happens in two ways. Your teeth are anchored to the jaws through the alveolar bone. First, horizontal shrinkage occurs as the bone collapses once a tooth is removed. Then, vertical shrinkage weakens the jawbone.
Once the jawbone shrinks, it becomes difficult to receive a dental implant since there wouldn’t be a space where the post can go; nor will the jawbone be strong enough to support the implant.
How does ridge preservation help?
Essentially, ridge preservation prevents the jawbone from shrinking. This gives you enough time to explore your options for tooth replacement and restoration. In doing so, ridge preservation also helps keep your jawbone strong, and with enough space to accommodate an implant.
How is ridge preservation performed?
After your tooth is extracted or ideally, immediately after you lose it, your periodontist can perform ridge preservation. Ridge preservation is a quick and painless procedure that can be performed immediately after your tooth extraction, without complicating the recovery period.
Also known as ridge augmentation, ridge preservation involves placing a bone graft at the ridge of the jawbone. Once the socket left by a missing tooth is filled with a bone graft, your periodontist will conceal it with a barrier. This will prevent the bone from collapsing, and preserve the bone tissue.
When should ridge preservation be performed?
Since jawbone deterioration can start immediately after losing a tooth, it’s best to undergo ridge preservation right away. Periodontists recommend placing this bone graft immediately to prevent the jawbone from beginning to shrink the moment a tooth is extracted.
In fact, ridge preservation can speed up your tooth replacement process. If you wait or opt to skip ridge preservation after a tooth extraction, the process for getting dental implants later on can be more complicated.
Getting a temporary tooth replacement method, such as dentures, also speeds up jawbone degeneration. This happens because you’re only waiting longer to completely restore your jawbone and teeth, while adding pressure to the jawbone as the dentures sit on top of the jaws without the proper supporting structure in the bone.
Once the jawbone shrinks, you will need to receive a bone graft before getting a dental implant. Meanwhile, if you undergo ridge preservation right away, you can avoid an additional procedure later on and the necessary recovery time before the implant can be placed.
I’ve done a ridge preservation—what next?
Ridge preservation is a crucial, time-saving procedure that helps you get ready for dental implants much sooner. With the socket preserved and your jawbone maintaining its density, you can avoid the need for a bone graft down the line, which would need to heal first before you can get the implants.
So, when can you get dental implants—and how much time do you have?
Keep in mind that ridge preservation is a procedure aimed at preserving your jawbone, so you’re ready for tooth replacement. Plus, wouldn’t you want to restore your complete, healthy smile and regain full dental function as soon as possible?
After your periodontist performs ridge preservation, the socket will be reinforced and preserved, preventing the bone from collapsing. However, this isn’t permanent. This is why it’s best to get dental implants within 4 to 6 months after ridge presentation. It’s the best way to preserve the jawbone, and restore your smile.
Book Your Ridge Preservation at Periodontal Associates
When you lose a tooth, the first thing that comes to mind is most likely replacing it. But as you’ve learned, there is one crucial step you need to take before you’re ready for restorations such as dental implants. Ridge preservation is a necessary procedure that maintains the strength of your jawbone, preparing you for tooth replacement with dental implants.
At Periodontal Associates, our team of periodontists in Etobicoke are dedicated to supporting your entire journey, from extraction to restoration. We believe in a targeted approach to tooth replacement, which begins with ridge preservation. When you undergo this treatment, we can help ensure that you’re better suited for dental implants, without the longer procedure and recovery times. Thanks to ridge preservation, you can be ready for dental implants sooner and avoid the need for an additional procedure, such as a bone graft.
Did you recently undergo a tooth extraction or are you scheduled for one? Our periodontists at Periodontal Associates can provide more information about the benefits of ridge preservation. Book your visit in Etobicoke today.