Guided Tissue Regeneration (GTR)/Bone Regeneration

Much like a turtleneck tightly encircling your neck, your bone and gum tissue should fit snugly around your teeth. When you have periodontal disease, supporting tissue and bone around the teeth are destroyed and pockets develop. Over time these pockets become deeper and create more room for bacterial plaque to form and invade under the gum. This results in further bone and tissue loss around the teeth and can eventually lead to tooth loss. Deep periodontal pockets cannot be adequately cleaned with daily home care.

Regenerative procedures are recommended when the bone supporting your teeth has been destroyed. These procedures can reverse some of the damage by regenerating lost bone and tissue.

Traditionally, surgical treatment of gum disease included eliminating gum pockets by trimming away the infected gum tissue and re-contouring the uneven bone tissue. Although this is still an effective surgical method of treating gum disease, new and more sophisticated procedures are now routinely utilized. In some situations bone can be made to re-grow as opposed to removing bone, but this optimal treatment can only be applied in limited situations. The key to predictability is careful case selection.

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Guided Tissue Regeneration (GTR) “regenerates” the previously lost gum and bone tissue. Many times, determining whether Guided Tissue Regeneration (GTR) is possible can only be done at the time of surgery. Fortunately, a newer technology available in dentistry, the cone beam CT scan, has greatly improved our ability to assess the shape, size and extent of bone loss. This allows us to predict the feasibility of GTR with greater accuracy.

Guided Tissue Regeneration (GTR) can be used to stimulate growth of gum tissue and bone previously lost to disease or atrophy, therefore increasing support for teeth and implants. Most techniques utilize membranes that are inserted over the bone defects. The GTR procedure is often accomplished in combination with a bone graft. These bone grafts consist of small particles of your own bone, tissue bank bone or synthetic material that help stimulate bone growth or hold the space for your bone to regenerate into. In certain cases GTR involves the placement of a barrier over the lost bone area. The barrier effectively separates the soft tissue from the bone, thereby creating space for bone to grow. GTR products come in resorbable and non-resorbable materials. The non-resorbable materials require a second procedure for removal of the GTR barrier.


Guided Tissue Regeneration (GTR) can be used to encourage your body’s natural ability to regenerate bone and gum tissue. Eliminating existing bacteria and regenerating bone and gum tissue help to reduce pocket depth and repair damage caused by the progression of periodontal disease. With a combination of daily oral hygiene and professional maintenance care, you will increase your chances of keeping your natural teeth and improve your bodys overall health (such as minimizing complications of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and low birth weight babies).