Guided Bone and Tissue Regeneration
Periodontal disease is caused by a bacterial infection. These bacteria invade deep within the jawbones. A good analogy is the action of termites on wood. The infections drive deep into the jawbones along the surfaces of the roots. Once established, these bacterial colonies begin to expand, destroying supporting jawbone as they advance wider and deeper. The deep gashes these periodontal infections leave behind promote repeated bacterial colonization and reinfection. These areas of supporting bone loss are called periodontal pockets. A periodontal pocket is difficult or impossible to maintain daily, even with a stringent home care program. Deeper pockets can’t even be controlled by dental professionals. They just continue to worsen if action is not taken.
Some shallow periodontal pockets have rough edges that can be smoothed off by a Periodontist. This process leaves the area much more accessible for daily maintenance. In-office periodontal maintenance visits are also much more effective when the healthy tissues are easier to clean. This pocket reduction procedure is often applied to back teeth where access is much more difficult.
At sites where the periodontal pocketing is much deeper, another approach can be used. Guided bone regeneration is a process used to fill-in the bone defects that cause periodontal pockets. Advancements in bone regeneration are used to stabilize endangered teeth and to prevent future bacterial recolonization. Bone can also be regenerated where support is needed to place a future dental implant.