Despite being perfectly reversible during the early stages, developing periodontitis can be hard on your alveolar ridge. Over time, this bony layer under the teeth can sometimes break down due to being harmed by the bacteria that cause periodontitis. This can cause a larger effect that makes it harder to get you a dental implant after your teeth fall out from this disease. Fortunately, at Toomin & Bieber Aesthetic Comprehensive Dentistry, we do guided bone regeneration treatments which not only save your gums and alveolar ridge but also helps your teeth stay healthy longer.
How Guided Bone Regeneration Helps
Guided bone regeneration is a fairly new technique in dentistry. It is done after we remove plaque from the bony region (called the alveolar ridge). This region acts like a socket, which supports your teeth from under your gums. Without it, your teeth may become loose and fall out, and we will not be able to place dental implants on them.
The basic principle behind guided bone regeneration is to support your body’s natural bone-fixing abilities by shaping and protecting the damaged area with biocompatible materials. These materials have special structures that make your body think that they are not “foreign” substances. Normally, your own immune system activates an infection response when it detects foreign substances.
A common strategy done with guided bone regeneration uses a biocompatible cloth that covers your alveolar ridge and prevents plaque from affecting it. The cloth is inserted surgically and is left on the bone layer until the bone tissues regenerate as they naturally should. Eventually, the fibers of the biocompatible cloth will be absorbed into your body, removing the need for a second surgery to pull it out.
Other strategies include the use of a small bone graft under the biocompatible cloth. The technique we use will always depend on the situation, especially on the damage caused by advanced periodontitis.
What if Guided Bone Regeneration is Not Enough?
However, there are times when bone regeneration may not be enough. This usually happens when periodontitis has advanced to the point that the tooth has long fallen out and the plaque has damaged large areas of the alveolar ridge. Guided bone regeneration cannot help with this. Instead, we would recommend a bone grafting procedure for the alveolar ridge. This is also called a ridge augmentation.
Doing either ridge augmentation or guided bone regeneration allows us to place new dental implants over your alveolar ridge. Being regenerated or grafted does not matter in this case; synthetic bones that have fused with natural bones can function similarly to a degree. However, the strength difference between them is too small to be relevant. In fact, we can even choose the kinds of material used in synthetic grafts in order to match the strength of your natural bones.
In the end, periodontitis should be diagnosed and treated as early as possible before it causes more harm. At an advanced stage, the disease can cause more teeth to fall out as the plaque moves to the roots of other adjacent teeth. If you or someone you may know has periodontitis-related tooth loss, or for more information, please schedule an appointment with us at Toomin & Bieber Aesthetic Comprehensive Dentistry by calling us at (818) 748-9998 today.