As an oral surgeon, I want to share with you a question I often get asked, “How do you do a ridge regeneration?” Well, a ridge regeneration is simply an area where we need to regenerate the shape of the ridge of that bone. Typically a tooth has been missing for a long period of time and that bone has shrunk so it is no longer the same size or shape as when a tooth used to be there. Ridge regeneration allows us to rebuild that base of bone so that when we replace that tooth with a dental implant, that implant has a solid foundation by which it can go into. To regenerate that bone takes, what we call “civil engineering” where we recreate that space, put in a retaining wall or membrane to hold that space open, and use different types of bone products based upon its location, what we are trying to achieve and how quickly we need that bone to fill back in. By doing so, we can backfill that space back in to recreate the space that used to exist, maintain that space so that we can eventually get your body to heal it in the way it used to be.
Essentially, we are trying to fool your body into thinking that the bone is still there so it’s time to regrow and regenerate. Once we do that and once we have an adequate amount of bone density in that space, now we have a new foundation to place a dental implant and eventually replace that tooth. The key for a ridge regeneration is making sure that we do all of the right steps in all of the right orders so that we can have the highest degree of success because it is one of the most difficult things that we can do.