Ridge augmentation refers to the process of adding or building up bone in an area of bone deficiency. Bone deficiency in the jaw regions is usually the result of resorption of bone after teeth have been removed, but it can also occur as a result of periodontal disease, trauma, wearing dentures, or developmental problems. This process of bone resorption becomes a problem if it results in insufficient bone to allow for replacement of teeth, particularly if dental implants are to be placed.
One of the most critical factors when considering dental implant treatment is the amount of bone available to support the implant itself. Both the height and width of bone must be satisfactory. Ridge augmentation procedures can improve the quantity (and quality) of available bone for placement of dental implants at sites that otherwise would be unsuitable for implant placement. Depending on the situation, ridge augmentation may be done at the time of implant placement, or it may be needed prior to implant placement.