The alveolar ridge is a part of the jaw that holds the teeth and secures their roots. When a tooth is extracted, an empty space or socket is left in the ridge. While this normally fills in with bone and tissue as it heals, this doesn’t always occur successfully. The bone may not grow back properly or there may not have been much bone to begin with. If the patient desires to replace the extracted tooth with an implant, alveolar ridge augmentation may be necessary. This is a surgical procedure that helps to restore the size and shape of the alveolar ridge so that an implant can be placed. A local alveolar ridge augmentation may include only the socket or space where the natural tooth was extracted. In patients who need several implants or have very significant bone loss, bone grafting may be done for the whole ridge.