Alveolar Defect

Periodontal disease can cause loss of the alveolar bone, or the bony ridge in the jaw that holds the teeth and supports its roots. The loss of bone typically follow one of four alveolar defect patterns — horizontal defects, angular or vertical defects, dehiscence, and fenestrations. Of the four types of defects, horizontal and vertical defects are the most common. However, general bone loss caused by periodontal disease is most likely to be horizontal bone loss. Generally what occurs with this alveolar defect is that the bone is resorbed by the body and the height of bone decreases uniformly across the affected area. Tooth loss is common with periodontal disease, which creates a two-fold problem. An implant may be a viable solution to replace teeth for functional, health, and aesthetic purposes, yet not enough bone exists to support an implant. In cases of alveolar defect, a bone graft is often necessary.