What Is Bone Regeneration?
Periodontal disease can, if left untreated, bring about the loss of bone structure. Eventually, this increases the chance for teeth to be lost. Once the natural teeth are gone, the surrounding bone infrastructure in the jaw will begin to dissolve. The loss of bone structure can cause aesthetic issues and can make the use of dentures an uncomfortable option. The good news is that bone regeneration has made it possible to regain the lost bone structure. This improves facial appearance and also provides stronger support for dentures and bridges when teeth are missing.
Guided bone regeneration (GBR) uses surgical procedures to influence and encourage the growth of new bone tissue in negatively affected areas.
Three types of bone graft procedures are in use:
When is bone regeneration needed?
Dental bone regeneration is often used in preparation for periodontal procedures, such as dental implants. Often, a patient needs dental implants but does not have adequate bone tissue to support them. Bone regeneration helps build up bone around the implants after a tooth extraction to provide a solid foundation upon which to place dental implants securely. The procedure may also be used to fill bone defects after a tooth is removed or to preserve sockets in preparation for the future implantation of false teeth or other dental prosthetics.
How does the process work?
Before a Guided Bone Regeneration procedure takes place, your dentist will determine if you are a qualified candidate who can withstand hard tissue growth in the jaw. If you are found to be a good candidate for the procedure, a surgical appointment will be scheduled.
During your procedure, your gum pockets will be cleaned and a biocompatible membrane will be inserted between the pockets and gum tissue to guide the bone tissue growth within the gum pockets. A graft material – sourced from a human or animal donor or produced synthetically in a lab – will be placed into areas of the jaw in need of augmentation. This graft material will become absorbed into the natural tissues and stimulate growth over time.
Depending on the size of your graft, recovery may take anywhere from two to three weeks; however, the graft material will undergo a process called osseo-integration over the next 3 or more months.
What are the benefits of dental bone regeneration?
Regenerative methods like these are vital to the success of one’s dental implant or dental bridge or to correct defects in the bone. In addition to helping restore one’s smile, regenerative procedures can actually improve a patient’s dental health by preventing the further decay of tissues beneath the gum line.
After bone graft regeneration, patients should schedule and come to all follow up appointments suggested by the doctor. If needed, the doctor will prescribe pain medication for the patient after the procedure as well as tips to improve the healing process. Patients should maintain a regular home oral care routine, including brushing, flossing, and regular dental exams and cleanings.
At Dental Associates of Arlington, we are experts in periodontal procedures like these and are committed to providing our patients with the quality care and comprehensive service they need to permanently restore their smile. Bone regeneration is just one such procedure that can help you achieve the smile you have always wanted in a healthy and natural way. If you are interested in learning more about procedures like these, contact our office today to schedule a consultation with us. Our dentist serves Arlington, Belmont, Cambridge, Lexington, Medford, Somerville, Watertown, and Winchester.