Everything You Need to Know About Ridge Expansion

  1. Dental Implant Surgery
  2. Surgical Preparation
  3. Ridge Expansion

Ridge expansion is a surgical procedure commonly used to prepare the jaw for dental implant placement. It is designed to widen the alveolar ridge – the area of the jaw that houses the teeth – so that there is enough room for the implant. This procedure has become increasingly popular over the last few decades, and is now used in a variety of dental procedures. In this article, we'll take a look at everything you need to know about ridge expansion, from the types of surgeries involved, to the risks and benefits associated with this procedure.


Ridge expansion is a beneficial procedure for those considering dental implant surgery as it increases the width of the jawbone, allowing the implant to be securely placed.

This procedure ensures that the jawbone is strong and stable enough to support the implants, reducing the risk of complications during or after surgery. It also creates a strong foundation for the dental implant, allowing it to last longer and providing a better cosmetic appearance. Overall, ridge expansion provides many benefits for those considering dental implant surgery.

What Is Ridge Expansion?

Ridge expansion is a surgical process that widens the jawbone, typically to make it strong and stable enough for dental implant surgery. The procedure involves the use of metal plates, screws, or expanders to gradually increase the width of the jawbone.

In some cases, bone grafts may also be used to increase the width of the jawbone. The goal of ridge expansion is to create a large, stable base for dental implants, so they remain secure over time. Ridge expansion can be done alone as a single procedure or in combination with other preparatory treatments. In addition to being used in preparation for dental implants, ridge expansion can also be used to correct certain jaw deformities or correct a bite that is misaligned.

Risks Associated With Ridge Expansion

Ridge expansion is generally a safe procedure, however, as with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications that must be considered. In rare cases, the ridge expansion process may cause nerve damage, infection, or excessive bleeding.

In addition, some patients may experience swelling and pain in the area after the procedure. Another potential risk is that the patient's jawbone may not respond to the ridge expansion process as expected, resulting in unsatisfactory results. It is important to discuss any potential risks with your dentist prior to undergoing ridge expansion surgery. Your dentist can provide you with more information about the potential risks and benefits of the procedure.

Benefits of Ridge Expansion

Ridge expansion is an important procedure that provides numerous benefits before dental implant surgery. The most important benefit is increased stability and longevity of the dental implants. By expanding the jawbone, the implant is more securely connected to the jawbone and can last for many years with proper care. Additionally, ridge expansion can provide improved aesthetics in a patient's smile.

By increasing the width of the jawbone, the teeth look more even and balanced. Finally, ridge expansion can also provide improved functionality for the patient. With a wider jawbone, there is more support for the teeth, making it easier to chew food. In addition, ridge expansion can also reduce the risk of complications during dental implant surgery. By expanding the bone, it is easier for the surgeon to insert the implant into the jawbone without needing to make any adjustments during the procedure.

This can reduce pain and shorten recovery time.

The Ridge Expansion Procedure

Ridge expansion is a surgical procedure that is used to increase the width of a patient's jawbone. This procedure is often performed in preparation for dental implant surgery, to ensure that the jawbone is strong and stable enough to support the implants. The ridge expansion procedure begins with the patient receiving local anesthesia to numb the area. Once the patient is comfortable, the surgeon will make an incision along the jawline.

The surgeon will then insert a small metal device called a spreader into the incision. This spreader has two metal blades that are spread apart, which creates a gap between them. Next, the surgeon will inject bone graft material into the gap created by the spreader. This bone graft material will fill in the space created by the spreader, increasing the width of the jawbone and creating more space for implant placement.

Once the bone graft material has been injected, it is held in place with small screws and plates. After the ridge expansion procedure is complete, the patient will typically need to wait a few months before they can have dental implants placed. This is because the bone graft needs time to heal and integrate into the existing bone structure. In some cases, additional procedures may be necessary to prepare the jawbone for dental implant placement.

Alternatives to Ridge Expansion

When considering alternatives to ridge expansion, there are a few key factors that must be taken into account.

These include the size and shape of the jawbone, the patient's overall health, and the type of implant being used. Depending on the patient's situation, there may be other options for achieving successful dental implant surgery. One alternative to ridge expansion is to use a smaller implant size. This option is best for patients whose jawbone is too narrow to support larger implants.

With a smaller implant, the patient may still have a successful implant surgery without undergoing a ridge expansion. Another possible alternative is to use a different type of implant that does not require a wide jawbone. Examples of these types of implants include mini implants or all-on-four implants. Mini implants are much smaller than traditional implants, and they can be placed in areas with less bone mass. All-on-four implants are also an option, as they can be secured using only four implants instead of six or eight. Finally, bone grafting may be an option for some patients.

Bone grafts are used to increase the width of the jawbone, allowing for successful implant placement. This procedure can be used in conjunction with ridge expansion or as an alternative. Ridge expansion is an effective and beneficial procedure that can be used to prepare a jawbone for dental implant surgery. It can help increase the chances of a successful implant procedure by ensuring that the jawbone is strong and stable enough to support the implants. While there are some risks associated with this procedure, they are typically minimal compared to the potential benefits.

If you're considering dental implant surgery, speak to your dentist about whether or not ridge expansion may be a good option for you.

Charity Mias
Charity Mias

Amateur baconaholic. Extreme problem solver. Award-winning zombie specialist. General food evangelist. Avid travel geek. General problem solver.