Periodontists are dental specialists who are skilled in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gum disease. It is common for many patients to believe that gum disease solely impacts the gums. Truth is, if left alone, gum disease – also known as periodontal disease – can create a lot of damage, including bone loss.
With advanced, specialized techniques, a periodontist can help restore bone loss. Here’s how they do it.
The Risk of Bone Loss
For those with periodontal disease, the risk of bone loss is very real. As the infection under the gum line wreaks havoc on the roots and tooth structure, it can cause the tooth to weaken. At this stage, there is often no ability to save the tooth – it will either fall out on its own or require extraction.
The jaw bone stays strong and healthy as long as it is chewing and otherwise being used how it was intended. But without a tooth, there is no stimulation, And, as a result, the bone will become absorbed – referred to as bone resorption. This is all due to a lack of use.
It is possible to lose around 25% of your bone within the first year of losing a tooth. This percentage will continue to increase until the tooth is replaced. Unfortunately, once you already have bone loss, additional procedures are often required to save your bone and maintain your artificial teeth going forward. For instance, a jaw bone with bone loss is not going to be strong enough to hold a dental implant.
A periodontist has special treatments that help minimize the damage caused by bone loss.
Bone grafting is a reconstructive surgery that helps rebuild bone and increase bone density. Most bone grafting involves a minor, in-office procedure, such as those that are trying to give the bone more density to hold dental implants. After all, those who are lacking in bone density will not be able to anchor the implants securely.
Bone grafting material is used to rebuild the jaw bone so that the implants (or any type of tooth replacement) can be supported. Bone grafting material can come from the patient’s own bone, synthetic material, or something else.
Bone regeneration is another treatment periodontists can use to treat bone loss. In areas where the bone has been lost, whether due to extraction or otherwise, this type of treatment can help encourage the body to regenerate bone and tissue. This is commonly used when treating deep pockets of bacteria and infection underneath the gum line.
An incision is made in the gums, allowing them to be folded back and all of the infection removed. Due to the damage the infection has already caused, bone grafts or tissue-stimulating proteins can be added to the area in order to encourage the body to regenerate its bone and tissue naturally.
Bone regeneration may be used to restore density around existing teeth or those that have been lost/extracted.
Learn more about periodontal bone loss treatment from the highly-skilled experts at Hudson Valley Periodontics and Implantology. They have placed more implants and treated more periodontal cases than most offices across the US, providing patients with extensive experience and skill and the value of a long-standing practice.