Gum disease has traditionally been treated by eliminating the gum pockets by trimming away the infected gum tissue and by re-contouring the uneven bone tissue. Although this is still an effective way of treating gum disease, new and more sophisticated procedures are used routinely today. One of these advancements is guided bone regeneration (GBR), also referred to as guided tissue regeneration (GTR). This procedure is used to stabilize endangered teeth or to prepare the jaw for dental implants.
As periodontal disease progresses, pockets of degenerated bone develop in the jaw. These pockets can promote the growth of bacteria and the spread of infection. To address these pockets, your periodontist may recommend tissue regeneration. During this surgical procedure, the pockets are cleaned thoroughly, a bone graft is placed where the bone loss is, and a membrane is installed over the bone graft to protect it. Some of these membranes are bio-absorbable and some require removal. The membrane covers the pocket so that fast-growing soft tissue is blocked, and slower-growing bone can begin to grow, or “regenerate” itself. The use of stem cells and growth factors may also be used to speed up healing.
The effectiveness of the procedure generally depends on the patient’s willingness to follow a strict postoperative diet and careful oral care. Your doctor at the Ueno Center will help you determine if bone regeneration surgery is right for you.