The effects of tooth loss on the remaining gum and bone form can be devastating. Studies show that significant loss of the height and width of the ridge occurs as early as 3-4 months after extraction and may continue for years. You may have seen people who have a loss of gum contour with spaces under and between bridge replacement teeth. Not only is this unaesthetic, but patients often complain about speech difficulties and problems with food impaction. Many times reconstruction of lost form and function can occur via bone or soft tissue augmentation grafting techniques to regenerate lost structure.
Robert presented with dentistry that was over 20 years old. It was worn out, discolored and un-attractive. He felt that the dentistry made him look older and decided to have the old dentistry replaced. One issue we had to deal with was the collapsed ridge that you see. Two front teeth had been removed years earlier and without the roots of the teeth to hold and stimulate bone function, the ridge and thickness of bone disappeared. This is what we refer to as a collapsed ridge. Note how the teeth were shaped to fit against the collapsed ridge area.
The old reconstruction was removed and temporary crowns were made. The arrow in this close up photo points to the collapsed ridge area.
20-year-old dentistry gave Robert an aged smile
The ridge was then rebuilt using connective tissue from Roberts palate. This was a minor surgical procedure. Compare these 2 photos with the previous one to see the incredible change.