In the past, the treatment of periodontal (gum) disease was considered to be painful and disfiguring. For many years, the best way to achieve the ultimate goal of therapy (shallow, maintainable pockets) was to do resective surgical procedures that often resulted in the exposure of sensitive root surfaces and the appearance of "long" teeth.
Today, our Periodontist, are often able to restore or regenerate missing bone and attachment around teeth subjected to long-standing periodontal disease. In addition, if you have lost a tooth due to trauma or disease, we can restore or regenerate bone prior to the placement of bridges or implants.
Guided Tissue Regeneration (GTR) refers to procedures that attempt to regenerate lost periodontal structures (bone, periodontal ligament, and connective tissue attachment) that support our teeth. This is accomplished using biocompatible membranes, often in combination with bone grafts and/or tissue stimulating proteins.
Guided Bone Regeneration (GBR) refers to procedures that attempt to regenerate bone prior to the placement of bridges or, more commonly, implants. This is accomplished using bone grafts and biocompatible membranes that keep out tissue and allow the bone to grow.
We have great techniques available to us to replace missing bone. We can increase the height of bone and the width of bone. We can fill in anatomical voids in bone thereby creating new bone and we can fill in all sorts of defects that develop when teeth are lost. We can even use grafting techniques to prevent the loss of bone in circumstances where bone would normally be lost like the extraction of a tooth.