Ridge expansion refers to the surgical, lateral widening of the residual ridge (i.e., buccolingually) using chisels and/or osteotomes. This expansion process is done to make enough room for the patient to receive a bone graft and/or a dental implant.
Once the ridge expansion process is complete, the implants can be placed. Screws are inserted, the surgeon gradually increases their thickness. While this process may take a bit longer, a good clinical outcome is likely.
Many times, implant placement involves an inadequate buccolingual width of the edentulous ridge.
A variety of treatments can be used to address inadequate buccolingual width:
- Horizontal veneer block bone graft
- Narrow implant placement
- Ridge-splitting procedure
- Horizontal guided bone regeneration (GBR)
The ridge-splitting expansion technique refers to a procedure that is used when the width of a bone is too narrow, but its height is sufficient. This procedure aims to widen the alveolar ridge. The ridge-splitting technique is frequently performed in the anterior maxillomandibular area. After surgery, the patient enjoys aesthetic results as well as the housing effect that is exerted by the cortical bone and the buccolingual side. This housing effect improves the osseointegration process by providing an adequate amount of blood to the area being addressed.