However, with home out-half Phil Godman kicking away some decent possession, no momentum was built up.
Jason Tovey and Wayne Evans in particular made Edinburgh pay as they kept them pinned in their own half for most of the first half.
On the quarter hour mark, a big carry by Dragons number 8 Grant Webb led to an Edinburgh infringement and Arlidge slotted a simple penalty for the lead score.
Edinburgh continued to play a passing game which only led to conjestion in midfield and with the Dragons biding their time, another penalty chance came Alridge's way and he put the Dragons 6-0 ahead.
Ten minutes before the break, an Evans box kick had John Houston in trouble, Allan Jacobsen was the man deemed to have offended and Arlidge banged over his third penalty from three attempts.
Edinburgh's woes were compounded when centre Ben Cairns, who had looked the home side's most dangerous back, limped off just before half-time.
Edinburgh came out all guns blazing in the second half but for 16 minutes a brilliantly determined defensive effort from the Dragons kept them at bay.
Time after time the Edinburgh scrum drove the visitors back and a series of penalties resulted, all of which Edinburgh opted to take as scrums.
Winger Tim Visser, number 8 Allister Hogg and flanker Roddy Grant were all stopped just short of the Dragons whitewash, but finally the penalty was accepted and Godman slotted the points.
The game reverted to the pattern of the first half with the Welshmen pinning Edinburgh back with some crafty kicking.
In a lively final 15 minutes, Visser got away from Aled Brew to set up the field position, the ball was shipped crossfield and Godman found Nick De Luca whose clever offload put Andy Turnbull over for a much-needed try.
Godman missed the conversion and in a frantic finish, both sides had chances to win the game. Godman was off target with a drop goal attempt.
With two minutes to go, Dragons replacement Toby Falatau spilled the ball with the line at his mercy. Nonetheless, Paul Turner's men had done enough to warrant the win, with this result moving them back up to sixth in the standings.
|Edinburgh Rugby Score Card|
|Newport Gwent Dragons Score Card|