What is bone regeneration and reconstruction of the jaws?
During the last decades implantology has developed enormously so that nowadays the loss of teeth can be solved in almost all cases by placing dental implants. However, in order to be able to place these implants in the ideal position, it is very important to have sufficient bone volume in both width and height. Numerous techniques have been developed for this purpose that currently allow us to regenerate or reconstruct these defects in the jaws.
What does it consist of and how is bone regeneration achieved?
Fortunately, we currently have numerous alternatives available to us. In the first place we would talk about autologous bone grafts, with the patient’s own bone, which in cases of small or medium-sized defects can be obtained from adjacent or neighboring areas to the defect itself. And in cases where we need a larger amount of bone for reconstruction, we can obtain it from areas far from the mouth. However, these techniques can sometimes be somewhat uncomfortable for patients and we also have techniques such as guided bone regeneration that allows us to use biomaterials and biomembranes for easier bone regeneration for small and medium-sized defects.
In what cases should these techniques be used and are they definitive?
Many patients suffer bone loss in a natural way after tooth loss or periodontal disease. Each case is studied exhaustively through a series of tests, starting with the orthopantomography that allows us to perform a series of measurements to assess bone loss, almost always we will perform a Denta Scan or dental scan that gives us a vision in all dimensions of the jaw bones. Normally we will make a series of measurements that allow us to calculate the amount of bone needed, in other occasions we will use photographs of the patient that show us the dimension of the bone loss, and in many cases we will make a virtual planning by computer to calculate the ideal position of the implant and what would be the need of bone that we have to graft or regenerate. In many cases, models of the patient himself are also made, in which we will also make a simulation of the definitive ideal position of the implants. We can consider these techniques to be definitive and, in fact, we are reviewing patients that we have operated on some 20 years ago and who maintain their bone volume perfectly.