Ridge modification and ridge augmentation are two different dental procedures that are used to prepare a patient for dental implants. Ridge modification is a procedure that is used to correct deformities in the upper or lower jaw that can leave you with inadequate bone in which to place dental implants. This defect may have been caused by periodontal disease, wearing dentures, developmental defects, injury or trauma. The gum is lifted away from the ridge to expose the void where the bone is missing. This void is then filled with bone or bone substitute to build up the ridge. Finally, the incision is closed and several months of healing will be required. Depending on the case and type of implant and procedure, a dental implant may be placed during the ridge modification procedure or when healing is complete; much depends on the precise condition of the bone.
Ridge augmentation is a procedure that is used when there is not enough bone height in the upper jaw or the lower jaw, or both. This procedure involves adding bone graft material to a small area on the jawbone where there is not enough bone height. After the grafted material is placed, gum tissue is placed over the grafted-in bone and sutured in place. A “barrier membrane” may also be utilized to provide a space into which the bone will grow, allowing room for it to regain its former height and/or width.The healing process for a ridge augmentation takes at least 4 months but can be as long as a year. After the healing process is complete the site can be prepared for the placement of a dental implant. A ridge augmentation helps recreate the natural contour of the gums and jaw. It can also rebuild the bone, providing sufficient height and weight to support a dental implant. With this procedure, the results can provide both functional and aesthetic benefits.