The body is an amazing specimen. When you have a minor cut or scrape, you know it will repair itself. Your blood vessels will clot and produce a scab, allowing for the area to regenerate skin on its own. If the area doesn't scar, you'll have no evidence of the injury once it's completely healed.
Unfortunately, not all of our body parts repair as easily as our skin. Infections often need medical intervention -- and infections of the mouth are no different. As we get older, we're more likely to experience gum disease, which in turn can lead to bone loss. If that's the case, bone regeneration is often necessary to prevent tooth loss or prepare your jawbone for dental implants.
Your Next Step
In the early stages of gum disease, your dentist may use a non-surgical gum disease treatment such as scaling and root planing to remove dental tartar and infection below the gum line and smooth the area so the tissues can repair themselves. When bone is lost, the hard tissue will not be able to repair itself on its own, making non-surgical periodontal procedures ineffective.
Bone regeneration is a periodontal surgical procedure that regenerates jaw bone and tissue to correct the damage caused by periodontal disease. Bone regeneration is often performed to protect your existing teeth and the soft tissues that keep them in place.
Bone regeneration can also benefit patients with missing teeth and those who don't qualify for dental implants. While a dental bridge or dentures can help slow down the process, they will not eliminate the bone loss that inevitably occurs from tooth loss. Although dental implants resolve this problem, they require a significant amount of jawbone prior to the procedure in order to be successful. Bone regeneration can help patients who suffer from a deteriorated jawbone support their restorations or prepare for the implant dentistry procedure.
How It Works
First, your dentist or periodontist will remove any dental plaque or dental tartar found beneath the gum line. Biocompatible membranes are then placed between the bone and gums, which acts as a barrier between the two. This barrier prevents the gums from growing into the bone tissue as it heals and also encourages new bone to grow.