The alveolar ridge bone is a special type of bone surrounding and supporting the teeth. When a tooth has been removed, this bone begins to deteriorate. It can also lose density due to natural breakdown from age, or from disease.
Ridge expansion is performed when the jaw is not wide enough or high enough to support implants. The bony ridge of the jaw is increased by splitting the bone with surgical instruments. Bone graft material is inserted and allowed to heal before placing the implant. In some cases, the implant is placed when the ridge is split.
The surgery is typically performed in the office surgical suite under IV sedation or general anesthesia.