Guided Bone Regeneration After Tooth Extraction

What is Guided Bone Regeneration?

Removal of teeth is sometimes necessary because of pain, infection, bone loss, or fracture of the tooth. The bone that holds the tooth in place (the alveolar bone) is often damaged by disease and/or infection resulting in deformity of the jaw after the tooth is extracted. When a tooth is removed, an empty socket is left in the alveolar ridge bone. Usually this empty socket will heal on its own, filling with bone and tissue. Sometimes when a tooth is removed, the bone of the socket breaks down and does not heal in a predictable manner. The previous height and width of the socket will continue to deteriorate. The surrounding bone and gums can shrink and recede very quickly after the extraction resulting in unsightly defects and a loss of lip support.

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Extraction site defects can create major problems no matter if the treatment involves dental implants, bridges or dentures. Jaw deformities from tooth removal can be prevented and repaired by a procedure called guided bone regeneration. Guided bone regeneration can greatly improve the appearance and increase the likelihood for successful dental implant implant or prosthetic treatment.

In one common method, the tooth is removed and the socket is filled with bone or bone substitute. It is then covered with gum, artificial membrane, or tissue stimulating proteins to encourage your body’s natural ability to repair the socket. With this method, If your dentist has recommended tooth removal, be sure to ask if socket preservation is necessary. This is particularly important if you are planning on replacing the front teeth.

How is Guided Bone Regeneration Accomplished?

Several techniques can be used to preserve the bone and minimize bone loss after an extraction. Guided Bone Regeneration is accomplished by placing bone graft material, bone substitute inductive proteins in the extraction socket. It is most effect if performed immediately after the tooth extraction.  Performing the grafting procedure immediately avoid the need for a second procedure and shortens treatment time.

Dr. Maranon may choose to use a space-maintaining product (membrane) over the top of the graft to help restore the height and width of the space created by the tooth and bone loss, and into which new bone should grow. Next, the gingival (gum) tissue is adapted over the graft site and secured with sutures. The socket heals with reduced shrinkage and collapse of surrounding tissues. Once the socket has healed, the alveolar ridge can be prepared for dental implant placement. Guided bone regeneration is usually complete in three to four months.