Good oral health is essential for your overall well-being. But if you’re dealing with periodontal disease, symptoms like bleeding gums, painful chewing, and even loosening teeth can begin to interfere with your quality of life.
Fortunately, advancements in dental procedures offer innovative solutions, and guided tissue regeneration (GTR) therapy is one popular option.
At Arcadia Perio in Arcadia, California, J. Paul Fuentes, DDS, DABP, and Andrew Peterson, DMD, MS, specialize in this regenerative therapy to stimulate healing and help reverse the symptoms of periodontal disease.
Understanding guided tissue regeneration therapy
GTR is a dental treatment that’s uniquely designed to regenerate damaged tissues like gums and bone. It’s an effective option to restore better oral health, particularly for people suffering periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, affects about half of American adults over age 30. It starts with mild inflammation, but it can progress so far that it destroys supporting structures around your teeth.
GTR aims to regenerate these structures through a guided and controlled process.
How dental GTR works
GTR is a type of regenerative therapy that stimulates new, healthy tissue growth to improve your oral health. During GTR, we access your affected teeth through a small incision to expose the damaged tissues.
We use a process called debridement to thoroughly clean your jawbone and teeth. The goal here is to create a clean and controlled environment for regeneration.
After debridement, we place a barrier membrane over the exposed root surfaces and surrounding bone. This membrane serves as a physical barrier, preventing fast-growing soft tissues like your gums from invading the space intended for regeneration.
Sometimes, we use tissue grafts along with GTR. Bone grafts involve supplementing your existing bone with new material. The new bone provides additional support and helps stimulate regeneration.
Over time, your body's natural healing processes take over. Cells from surrounding healthy tissues migrate to the treated area to gradually regenerate lost bone and connective tissues.
What to expect with GTR
We start with a thorough oral exam. We discuss your oral health history, assess the severity of your periodontal disease, and explain the GTR procedure in detail.
Then we create a personalized treatment plan. We outline the areas that require GTR therapy and any additional procedures, like bone grafts, that we recommend. If you choose GTR, we give you preoperative instructions to prepare for your procedure.
On the day of your GTR procedure, we administer local anesthesia to keep you comfortable. We make a small incision to expose the damaged root surfaces and surrounding tissues, then clean the area to prepare it for regeneration.
Next, we carefully place the barrier membrane over the treated area, creating a protective shield that guides the regeneration process. If you get a graft, we do it before closing the incision with stitches.
The barrier membrane remains in position and provides the necessary support for tissue regeneration.
After GTR, you may experience some discomfort, but it should fade within a few days. Ask our team about guidelines for managing pain with medication during this time.
We give you specific instructions on oral hygiene practices during your recovery period. This may include recommendations for gentle brushing, avoiding certain foods, and using prescribed mouthwashes.
Depending on your situation, we might recommend following a soft or modified diet for a brief period to promote optimal healing.
As you heal, you have regular follow-up appointments with our team. We monitor the healing process, remove stitches, and assess the success of the tissue regeneration at these appointments.
GTR therapy represents a significant advancement in periodontal care, offering a targeted and effective approach to tissue regeneration. If you're facing periodontal issues, schedule a consultation at Arcadia Perio to find out if it could be a good treatment option for you.
Call our Arcadia, California, office at 626-600-2009 or book an appointment online today.