Deformities in the upper or lower jaw 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. Not only do deformities cause problems when placing the implant, they can also cause an unattractive indentation in the jaw line near the missing teeth that may be difficult for you to clean and maintain.
To avoid this problem, 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. Your periodontist can tell you about your options for bone graft materials, which can help to regenerate lost bone and tissue.
Finally, the incision is closed and healing is allowed to take place. Depending on your individual needs, the bone usually will be allowed to develop for from four to 12 months before implants can be placed. In some cases, however, the implant can be placed at the same time the ridge is modified.
Ridge modification has been shown to greatly improve the jaw’s appearance and increase the chances of successful implants that can last for years to come. For patients with upper or lower jaw deformities, ridge modification can enhance both the appearance and the function of the dental implants. Many patients experience minimal discomfort during this procedure.