No two dental patients are exactly alike, so you may find yourself faced with the reality of additional complementary procedures in order to have dental implants. This is perfectly normal. Although some patients end up only needing the implant procedure alone, it’s not uncommon for people to need extra procedures like a ridge modification, sinus augmentation, and gum grafting. Your dentist will determine which complementary procedure will increase your chances of overall implant success.
A ridge modification is the process in which dents and deformities are rectified. Patients with insufficient bone in the upper or lower jaw will need this procedure prior to receiving dental implants. During a ridge modification, the gum is lifted to expose the defect, which is then filled with artificial or authentic bone to make the ridge invisible. The downside is that the ridge modification needs to heal for at least six months so the bone has enough time to develop. After this recovery time, the implant will be put into place. Having the ridge modification beforehand increases the aesthetics of the implant so it’s well worth the time and patience.
A sinus augmentation is another procedure that can improve the success of dental implants. Sinus augmentations are necessary because tooth loss and gum disease can result in an implantation area with inadequate bone. Not enough bone means that the likelihood of implant success is slim. Sinus augmentation addresses this issue by raising the sinus floor to develop bone in the upper back jaw. This is done by creating an incision to lift the sinus cavity so the space can be filled with bone grafts. Like the ridge modification, this procedure takes at least six months to heal and will vary from patient to patient, but it’s a common surgery that has a good success rate.
Gum grafting is the process of restoring gum tissue around the teeth to improve a patient’s smile, but it is also used in conjunction with dental implants. For any implant surgery to be successful, the base of the tooth must be completely protected by gum tissue. This not only protects the implant but it makes your smile more aesthetically pleasing. The dentist will expose the root of the tooth and cover it with grafted skin. This gum graft, usually taken from the roof of the mouth, will improve the chances of implant success and provide better protection against tooth decay and other periodontal diseases.