Our teeth are at risk due to periodontal disease. Plaque and tartar (also known as calculus) that accumulate on our teeth due to insufficient brushing and refraining from using dental accessories, such as floss, cause periodontal disease formation. Periodontal disease, through a long process, leads to loss of the tissue supporting the teeth, which is known as gingival recession. The recession may be localized or diffuse.
When bacterial plaque accumulates on the teeth, bacteria attack the supporting bone around the tooth and the fibers connecting the tooth to the bone. When the bone and fibers are destroyed, a pocket or space forms between the gums and teeth. This is called a periodontal pocket. Without thorough tooth cleaning involving the support tissue too, the process continues even without symptoms until tooth loss.
Bone augmentation treatments, or guided tissue / bone regeneration in professional terms, is a therapeutic process that allows the bone or supporting tissue to regrow around the tooth after being damaged by periodontal disease or around implants. If the tooth has been lost, this process allows for increasing the amount of bone in order for it to be possible to be used for implant placement. This treatment increases the bone support in areas in which we place implants. The operation allows for improvement in the shape and contour of the bone in that area.
Before a treatment of this type, a dentist will recommend a thorough, deep scaling to remove tartar. The aim of the treatment is also for the patient to acquire good oral hygiene habits that will last throughout the treatment and afterward. Good oral hygiene is important for the bone augmentation process to succeed in the long term.
During guided bone regeneration, the gums are separated from the tooth to expose the bone. The area is thoroughly cleaned, and infected tissue removed from it. After the area is clean, a small piece of dental material, based on collagen, that is called a GTR membrane, is placed adjacent to the tooth. This membrane is used as a divider that separates the rapid growing soft tissues, the gingival tissue, from the clean area of the tooth root. The membrane allows the slow growing hard tissue, the bone, to build up into the protected, separated and clean area. The membrane resorbs after some time (depending on the membrane type), while the bone takes its place and allows support of the tooth while covered by healthy gums. Maintaining oral hygiene throughout this period is of crucial importance.
Today there are advanced biological materials that are considered to be a breakthrough. These materials stimulate the body to generate bone and supporting tissues quickly and efficiently. These are special proteins called amelogenins that are formed during the tooth’s development. When these proteins are placed near the tooth root, they stimulate migration of bone and support tissue building cells. This substance also inhibits the migration of soft tissue, the gingival tissue that may harm the formation of the normal tissue and bone.