Gum disease has traditionally been treated by eliminating the gum pockets by trimming away the infected gum tissue and by re-contouring the uneven bone tissue. Although this is still an effective way of treating gum disease, new and more sophisticated procedures are used routinely today. One of these advancements is guided tissue regeneration/GTR. This procedure is used to stabilize endangered teeth and try to ‘grow’ back the bone that was lost.
As periodontal disease progresses, pockets of degenerated bone develop in the jaw. These pockets can promote the growth of bacteria and the spread of infection. During this surgical procedure, the pockets are cleaned thoroughly, and a membrane is installed between the soft tissue and the pocket in the bone. Some of these membranes are bio-absorbable and some require removal. The membrane covers the pocket so that fast-growing soft tissue is blocked, and slower-growing bone can begin to grow, or “regenerate” itself.