Dental Implant Procedure: Ridge Modification

When opting for new dental implants it is important that you choose a dentist who gives you a complete and thorough examination of the mouth area and informs you of all the options available to you. No two patients are the same and various complications can arise which could lead to a more complex and intricate procedure. One element which is often required for complex procedures is a ridge modification. Read on to find out more about this procedure and how it can improve your chance of dental implant success.


What is ridge modification?

Sometimes deformities in the upper or lower jaw can leave you with insufficient bone in which to place dental implants. These defects can be caused in various ways. The most common way for such deformities to occur is as a result of gum disease however they can also occur by wearing dentures, or through injury or trauma. Such deformities can cause problems in placing the implant and in addition can also cause an unattractive ridge or indent in the jawline near the lost tooth or teeth. Ridge modification is a process by which these dents are rectified.

What happens during a ridge modification procedure?

During a ridge modification procedure, the gum is lifted away from the ridge to expose the defected area. The defect is then filled with bone or bone substitute to ‘fill in’ the ridge and essentially make it invisible. Once this is complete and the ridge is successfully filled in the incision is closed and the area is left to heal. This procedure is similar to sinus augmentation which takes place in the back upper jaw.

What is the healing time?

The bone will usually left be to develop for about 6 months before dental implants are put into place. Just as in sinus augmentation it is possible for dental implants to be placed at the same time the ridge is being modified to shorten your overall dental procedure.

Ridge modification improves the function and aesthetics of your dental implants. There are various other procedures which can also help to improve your dental implant surgery. For further information see our step by step guide on the dental implant procedure.

Now that you have your new dental implants it is more important than ever to look after your brand new smile. Poor hygiene habits may have been the reason you needed new dental implants in the first place so what better time to start your new dental hygiene regime than now! This article will list some of the things you should do to make the most of your new dental implants straight after surgery and for years after.

Avoid hot drinks and food

For the first few days after your surgery, it is important to avoid hot food and drink. This could aggravate the implant site and prevent healing. It is also important not to swill liquid over the implant area.

Use Ice

There will always be some swelling associated with your implant surgery. To decrease the swelling for the first 24hrs hold an ice pack against your face. If you have any pain associated with the swelling take painkillers and if you have been given antibiotics be sure to complete the full course.

Rinse your Mouth

Following the procedure, a salt rinse is recommended to improve the healing process and prevent infection. In addition, rinsing with Corsodyl mouthwash after the surgery particular around the implant site for the first week should help to prevent any infection. It is important to keep food away from the implant site for as long as possible, rinsing after eating will help to keep the implant area as clean as possible.

Brush and floss your implants regularly

Once the pain and swelling have reduced it is time to start taking care of your teeth properly. Your teeth may have been fitted in a way which allows you to remove them for cleaning (dentures) or they may be permanently fixed. Either way, regular cleaning of your implants is extremely important. Ensure that you begin cleaning your teeth straight after surgery. Avoid the implant area for the first 2 days, following this try to clean this area in the same way you clean your other teeth.

Brushing with fluoride toothpaste 2-3 times a day will help to keep your smile looking better for longer and regular flossing is crucial for the upkeep of your dental implants.

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