Bone regeneration is a surgery where a bone graft is placed to rebuild lost bone after periodontal disease or tooth loss. The bone is taken either from another spot in the jaw such as from behind a wisdom tooth or from commercial sources such as donor banks, processed bovine bone or synthetic materials. The procedure duration and discomfort is typically about the same as a wisdom tooth extraction with swelling and bruising for 4-5 days.
Bone regeneration is a complex procedure that increases complication rates and requires advanced surgical training. If bone regeneration is required it is important that the patient ask questions; what material, what is the risk & benefit, what is the experience and training of the surgeon. Most cases of bone grafting are successful with success rates still over 90% but case selection is critical with both local site factors and patient factors affecting success rates.
Local risk factors include but are not limited to how large the defect is, whether the gum tissue is thin and whether vertical or horizontal bone graft is planned. Patient factors can include smoking, diabetes and penicillin allergy, as well as compliance to instructions.
Periodontists have graduate school training in bone grafting procedures, in fact many of the innovative materials and techniques used in guided bone regeneration have come from the field of Periodontal Research.