Atrophy of the Alveolar bone

Watch Dental Video about Alveolar Atrophy

The term alveolar atrophy refers to the regression of the teeth-supporting, crescent-shaped osseous part of the upper and lower jaw.

After the loss of a tooth, the bone no longer receives chewing forces at the spot where the tooth was lost, and the alveolar ridge begins to regress. First, the alveolar ridge decreases in width, and then it also starts to regress in terms of height. This is called alveolar ridge atrophy.

In many cases, an implantation is no longer possible after alveolar ridge atrophy. Without bone augmentation surgery, damage would result to the nerves or, as can be seen in this case, to the maxillary sinus. In the animation "Alveolar Atrophy", you see a so-called “onlay plastic.” The patient’s own bone is extracted, e.g., from the jaw angle, and transplanted to the desired location. This reestablishes the sufficient bone height for an implant and thus, for a fixed dental prosthesis. You can learn more about bone augmentation in the video entitled "Augmentation".

sagittale Schnittgrafik von Oberkiefer und Unterkiefer

bone loss

How fast the bone regresses after the loss of a tooth differs in every person and depends on various factors; in some people it takes months, in others, it takes years. Sometimes, a so-called flabby ridge forms; this an alveolar ridge consisting of connective tissue. This is usually observed when the osseous alveolar ridge regresses very quickly, e.g., due to an ill-fitting prosthesis; in such cases, a fibrous ridge remains, which is not suitable for an implantation.

Click here to see the video: Alveolar Atrophy


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