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Bone augmentation around teeth

Our teeth are at risk due to periodontitis. Plaque and calculus accumulate on the teeth due to insufficient brushing and failure to use dental accessories such as floss, and this causes periodontal diseases. Periodontitis, over time, leads to loss of the supporting tissue surrounding the teeth – this is called gingival recession. The recession can be local or widespread.

When plaque accumulates on the teeth, bacteria in the plaque attack the bone supporting the tooth and the fibers attaching the tooth to the bone. The extensive damage caused to the bone and fibers causes the creation of a pocket or space between the gingiva and the teeth, which is called a periodontal pocket. If the teeth are not thoroughly cleaned in a manner that also cleans the supportive tissue, the situation will deteriorate to the point of tooth loss, even when symptoms are not noticeable.

Bone augmentation treatment, or as it is formally called – guided tissue/bone regeneration, is a treatment process which enables the bone or supportive tissue damaged by the periodontal disease to grow anew around the bone or around implants. If the tooth was lost, this procedure facilitates increasing the amount of bone, in order that the new bone material can be utilized to perform implantation treatments. This treatment for dental implants increases the support provided by the bone in areas where implants will be placed. The operation improves the shape and contour of the bone in that region.
Before this type of treatment, the dentist will recommend a thorough, deep calculus cleaning. The purpose of the treatment is to help the patient acquire proper oral hygiene habits which will continue throughout the entire treatment and afterward. Proper oral hygiene is important in order that the bone augmentation procedure succeed, and for the patient’s long term health.

During the treatment, the gingiva is separated from the tooth and the bone is exposed. The area is cleaned thoroughly and infected tissue is removed from the area. After the area is clean, a small piece of dental material composed of a collagen basis, called a GTR membrane, is placed next to the tooth. This membrane serves as a barrier separating the soft tissues which grow quickly – the gingival tissue, from the clean area of the tooth’s root. The membrane enables the hard tissue – the bone, to grow slowly, and to build itself in a protected, isolated, clean area. The membrane is absorbed after a certain period of time (depending on the type of membrane), and the bone fills the cavity and supports the tooth, while the healthy gingiva covers it. Proper oral hygiene during this period is critical.

There are biological materials on the market today which are considered breakthrough advancements. These materials stimulate the body to build supportive bone and tissue quickly and effectively. These are special proteins called amelogenin which are created when the tooth is developing. When these proteins are placed close to the tooth’s root, they stimulate the migration of supportive bone and tissue building cells. In addition, this material inhibits the movement of the soft tissue, the gingival tissue, which could interfere with the generation of the correct height and the bone.

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