Regrowing your lost bone.
Regrowing your lost bone is no longer science fiction.
The goal of regenerative therapy is to create an environment where the body rebuilds structures. Typically, our periodontist will recommended this treatment if your pattern of bone loss is more vertical in nature, creating deep crevices within the bone surrounding teeth.
How does the process work?
After ensuring you are comfortably numb, our periodontist will gently push back your gums from the affected tooth to allow direct visual access to thoroughly clean diseased area. Next, instead of smoothing out the defects in the diseased bone, the defects (or holes) are filled with a bone graft and then covered with a membrane (like a very fancy band-aid). The gums are then re-positioned over the affected site and dissolving stitches are placed. Over the next six months, your body will replace the bone graft material with your own healthy, natural bone, increasing the support for your affected tooth and improving its lifespan. Typically antibiotics are prescribed for this treatment and over-the-counter pain medication is sufficient for any post-operative discomfort.
Case Study 1
This 14 year-old girl suffers from localized aggressive periodontitis, a rapidly destructive form of periodontitis that causes severe bone loss around the front teeth (incisors) and first molars. Don’t be fooled to the healthy looking appearance of her teeth! Under her gums, bacteria were stimulating her immune system to destroy her bone and surrounding gum tissue on select teeth. This shows the importance of taking dental x-rays, allowing us to see what is brewing beneath the surface.
Areas of severe bone loss
Our periodontist completed regenerative therapy on all four of her first molars to treat the severe bony defects. After all surgeries were completed, this patient was seen every 3 months for periodontal maintenance therapy and after nearly 2 years, working together as a team, we were able to stabilize her periodontal disease, determined her gums and bone were healthy enough to allow her to get braces!
Upper right first molar – pocket depth reduced 10 mm from to 5 mm
Upper left first molar – pocket depth reduced from 10 mm to 5 mm
Lower left first molar – pocket depth reduced from 10 mm to 5 mm
Lower right first molar – pocket depth reduced from 9 mm to 5 mm
Case Study 2
This otherwise healthy 41 year-old male referred to our office for evaluation and treatment of residual deep pockets following scaling and root planing with 6-9 mm pockets on his lower right molars from severe bone loss.
Guided tissue regeneration was performed on the front side of the lower right first molar and back of the second molar.
X-rays were taken 6 months post grafting. (Note the red lines and circles indicating bone levels and pocket depths prior to grafting versus the purple lines and circles showing areas where bone and tissue was regrown back to a level consistent with health). At this point, the patient was placed on 3 month periodontal maintenance and we are confident that, if he maintains good home care and stays on a 3 month recall interval, he will keep these teeth for a lifetime!
Prior to grafting
6 months post grafting
Radiographs, photos, and measurements taken 1.5 years post grafting illustrates stability of the graft and achievement of healthy bone and gums in this region. All pockets were less than 5 mm deep with no bleeding spots.