Irregularities in the contour of the jaw (ridge) can occur as a result of shrinkage of the bone. This may have occurred as a result of periodontal disease, wearing dentures, developmental defects, injury or trauma. This can leave one with inadequate bone in which to place a dental implant. Not only can it cause problems placing implants, but it can cause an unattractive indentation in the jaw line near the missing teeth that may be difficult to clean and maintain.
To correct the problem, the gum is lifted away from the indentation in the jaw to expose the irregular contour of bone. This irregular contour is then filled with bone to build up the ridge. The gum is then closed over the bone and allowed to heal. The bone is allowed to develop for 6 months before implants can be placed.
Ridge augmentation has been shown to greatly improve appearance and increase ones chances for successful implant placement. It can also enhance restorative success both esthetically and functionally.