When you loose one or more teeth, you get an indentation or ridge resorption, in your gums and jaw bone where the tooth used to be. This happens over time or with tooth extraction. These supporting structures are lost because they no longer hold a tooth in position.
This indentation is unnatural looking and can cause a replacement tooth to look long compared to adjacent teeth.
A Periodontist can fill in this bone and gum defect with a procedure called Ridge Augmentation to recapture the natural contour of your gums and jaw bone.
This procedure used to be done with soft tissue before crown and bridge procedures but is used more widely now before placing dental implants. Another term for Ridge Augmentation in the care of dental implants is guided bone regeneration. Essentially this procedure regrows bone so that a dental implant/implants can be placed where there was formerly not enough bone.
This procedure utilizes your own bone, tissue bank bone, or synthetic materials combined with membrane barriers, tissue stimulating proteins, or growth factor gels.
It usually takes 6-9 months to regenerate bone before the implant/implants can be placed depending on the situation.