Guided Bone Regeneration
When a tooth has been lost the bone around the vacant site disappears because there is not tooth present to support it. This bone loss can be so severe that in some cases before an implant can be placed it is necessary to regenerate this lost bone. Bone regeneration can be acheived in one of two ways.
- Bone from a distant site (the mouth or other sources), or synthetic bone, is grafted into the vacant site. This bone graft acts as a scaffold for your own bone to grow across, regenerate and calcify. As the new bone matures, the bone graft material resorbs (slowly dissolves away).
- In the majority of cases a membrane is used to guide the graft to grow to the new bone in the proper way. This technique is called Guided Bone Regeneration (GBR) or Guided Tissue Regeneration (GTR). Many different membranes are available to achieve the desired result.
A bone graft may or may not be required before placing an implant depending on the individual situation. If it is determined that the implant and graft need to be performed at separate visits, the length of time between procedures is normally 4 to 8 months depending on the location of the graft and the type graft performed.