If you are experiencing gum disease and your periodontist has noticed a loss of bone as well, bone regeneration may be a good option to restore the health and function of your smile. Bone regeneration is a periodontal surgical procedure that regenerates jaw bone and tissue in order to correct the damage caused by periodontal disease. Bone regeneration is often performed to protect your existing teeth and the soft tissues that keep them in place so that you can experience an enhanced quality of life as a direct result of improved health, function, and appearance.
Bone regeneration can also benefit patients with missing teeth and those who don't qualify for dental implants. Dental implants require a significant amount of jawbone prior to the procedure in order to be successful. Bone regeneration can help patients who suffer from a deteriorated jawbone support their restorations or prepare for an implant dentistry procedure.
The Bone Regeneration Procedure
During this procedure, your periodontist will place a biocompatible membrane between the gum and bone, which acts as a barrier. This barrier prevents downgrowth of the gum into the underlying bone as it heals. In some cases, a bone graft or tissue-stimulating proteins may be placed under the membrane to encourage your body's natural ability to regenerate bone and tissue. Membranes around teeth are typically designed to dissolve away or reabsorb after a few weeks. There are many options to enhance support for your teeth and to restore your bone to a healthy level. Schedule an appointment with our office to find out all the options available to help you regain your periodontal health.
Also called regenerative surgery, a bone graft is used to recreate bone and soft supporting tissues lost due to periodontitis. If you have periodontitis, you may be losing bone support around your teeth, and in order to avoid extractions, your periodontist may recommend regrowing the lost bone with a graft.
The goal of bone grafting is to encourage the body to rebuild the bone and other structures that attach a tooth to the jaw. First, your periodontist will separate the gums from your teeth in order to gain access to the roots and bone. The roots will be thoroughly cleaned, and the holes in the bone will be filled with a graft material that usually consists of your own bone. After this process is completed, your periodontist will put the gums back in place and stitch them together. Over the next few months, the grafted material will be encouraged to grow, which will fill in for lost bone and soft tissue.
A common use of bone grafting is for ridge augmentation. Ridge augmentation can recapture the natural contour of your gums and jaw after the loss of a tooth as a result of trauma, congenital anomalies, infection, or periodontal disease. Achieving an ideal amount of gum and bone as a support to surrounding restorations or implants may require hard and soft tissue reconstruction. After the loss of one or more teeth, your gums and jawbone may become indented where the tooth or teeth used to be. This occurs because the jawbone recedes when it no longer is holding a tooth in place. Not only is this indentation unnatural looking, it also causes the replacement tooth to look too long compared to the adjacent teeth, and this can create an area that is difficult to keep clean.
Ridge augmentation uses bone and tissue-grafting procedures to fill in the indented area of the jaw and gums, leaving you with a smooth gum line that coexists with your restoration or dental implant.