Reconstruction of advanced bone defect associated with severely compromised maxillary anterior teeth in aggressive periodontitis: a case report
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Aggressive periodontitis is characterized by a rapid rate of attachment loss and bone resorption. Regenerative therapy offers reconstruction of the periodontium; however, certain advanced cases with a questionable prognosis might remain a challenge. We report a successful intervention outcome of a challenging case in the aesthetic zone of a patient with aggressive periodontitis.
A 34-year-old systemically healthy Malay woman was referred to the Periodontics Specialist Clinic of the Kulliyyah of Dentistry, International Islamic University Malaysia, with a chief complaint of bleeding gums and mobility of the upper anterior teeth. A diagnosis of localized aggressive periodontitis was made. A thorough non-surgical periodontal treatment was provided, followed by a series of regenerative periodontal surgeries to manage advanced bone defects. A successful treatment outcome with a good prognosis was achieved. Maintenance through the supportive treatment phase showed marked bone gain.
Teeth with severely compromised periodontium of unpredictable prognosis can still be maintained with satisfactory restoration of the function, support, and aesthetics, despite the baseline unpredicted treatment outcome. Proper selection of an advanced periodontal treatment plan can exclude the option of tooth extraction or prosthetic replacement.
KeywordsCentral Incisor Periodontal Therapy Probe Pocket Depth Aggressive Periodontitis Clinical Attachment Loss
bleeding on probing
clinical attachment loss
non-surgical periodontal therapy
probing pocket depth
scaling and root planing
upper central incisors
Aggressive periodontitis has been defined in the literature as a rapid form of periodontal destruction that develops early in life and affects systemically healthy individuals [1, 2]. The prevalence of this disease in Asian populations is between 0.2% and 1.0% . A distinct radiographic feature of this form of periodontal destruction is the angular bony defects at the first permanent molars and central incisors . Because there is a rapid rate of alveolar bone resorption in this disease, the circumferential bone defects may progress to more than two-thirds of the roots, affecting the tooth-supporting tissues within a few years, and, as a consequence of disease progression, a high grade of mobility, deep intra-bony defects, and pus discharge can be observed at the involved sites .
The relative effectiveness of non-surgical anti-infective periodontal therapy on aggressive periodontitis compared with chronic periodontitis is still unclear . There is a limited opportunity to eradicate the periodontopathogens in the deep sites through non-surgical periodontal therapy (NPT) , and the expected healing process in patients treated with non-surgical therapy is by long junctional epithelium rather than through the regeneration, resulting in persistence of bleeding sites and disease recurrence . However, recent investigations revealed the persistence of the periodontal pathogens even after a full mouth extraction . Therefore, regenerative periodontal therapy for advanced periodontal defects to improve the prognosis and longevity of teeth appears promising .
Studies of the prognostic model of periodontally compromised teeth [11, 12, 13] showed that teeth with >50% bone loss have a questionable prognosis and ultimately “hopeless” if they have inadequate attachment to maintain health. Advanced bone defects, deep pockets, and tooth mobility are found to be associated with increased risk of tooth loss. Moreover, the patient’s condition will be more critical when central incisors in the aesthetic zone are affected, owing to the difficulty in satisfying patient expectations, especially in young women, when choosing the option of tooth extraction. In a recent study , Cortellini and co-workers demonstrated the potential effect of regenerative therapy in changing the prognosis of hopeless teeth instead of making a decision to extract such periodontally compromised teeth. However, the inclusion criterion that had been applied included intra-bony defect presenting with a clearly detectable bone crest at the neighboring tooth or teeth.
In this report, we describe a successful clinical outcome in the reconstruction of a circumferential bony defect extending from tooth 12 to tooth 22 over the palatal aspects of the upper central incisors (UCI) of a patient with aggressive periodontitis. This condition was unpredictable and was seen as a challenge, particularly in the aesthetic zone.
Strict oral hygiene instructions were given; however, the patient was asked to avoid normal brushing and flossing in the treated area for 4–6 weeks and replace it with the use of 0.12% chlorhexidine mouthwash. The modified Stillman brushing method was recommended to prevent the interference beneath the gingival margin until complete resorption of the membrane was achieved. During the healing process, professional plaque control was scheduled every 2 weeks to prevent bacterial contamination of the surgical area. The patient was also instructed not to chew on the treated area for the first 4 weeks.
During the phase of supportive periodontal therapy, the patient was treated with a schedule of professional plaque control with adjunct use of photodynamic therapy (PDT). The recall system of the maintenance phase was arranged every 3 months. At 2 years after baseline, the full periodontal chart revealed a marked improvement in the clinical periodontal records, as the percentage of sites with BOP had decreased from 40% to 16% and there was a substantial decrease in the number of deep pockets, characterized by the absence of PPD greater than 4mm compared with 22.22% before the commencement of treatment. This PPD reduction was accompanied by an average CAL gain of 3.07mm.
Despite the rapid rate of attachment loss in patients with aggressive periodontitis, the treatment of such cases is not different from that of chronic periodontitis in respect to all phases of treatment . In a recent consensus report by our group , it was stated that adjunctive use of systemic antibiotics and PDT supplementary to SRP are anti-infective non-surgical approaches that are required to eradicate periodontopathogens from infected sites. Nevertheless, regenerative surgical treatment is a requisite to restoring the periodontium and ensuring long-term tooth stability . Although the treatment option of teeth with a “hopeless” prognosis was tooth extraction , advanced reconstructive therapy and selected surgical techniques could alter the prognosis with an expectation of good results .
The clinical presentation of aggressive periodontitis usually includes the involvement of central incisors with angular bone defects . Therefore, it is fundamental to devise a good treatment plan to retain these adjacent teeth rather than extract them. Similarly, it is difficult to establish the periodontal papilla between two neighboring implants . In a recent consensus report of the American Academy of Periodontology regeneration workshop , its authors concluded that early intervention for intra-bony defects with regenerative approaches can be successful. In respect to the treatment of patients with aggressive periodontitis with bone grafting materials, our review of the literature revealed few published case reports [21, 22, 23] and controlled studies [24, 25]. Nevertheless, these cases were restricted merely to separated angular defects around premolar or molar teeth compared with the extent of defects affecting the maxillary two central incisors in our patient.
Although the immobilization of highly mobile teeth through periodontal splinting does not offer a successful periodontal improvement, stabilization of teeth during the regenerative treatment is important to stabilizing the wound healing . The splinting that we applied was considered to be permanent for the patient to protect the newly gained bone from the occlusion force in the long term, as the bone substitute we used was osteoconductive in nature.
A well-established plaque control regimen with excellent patient compliance in aggressive periodontitis cases is highly recommended in the maintenance phase to ensure good periodontal health . Therefore, professional and self-performed plaque control measures were instituted to help the patient achieve good oral hygiene.
Periodontally compromised teeth with unpredictable prognosis in the aesthetic zone of patients with aggressive periodontitis can be managed through a comprehensive treatment plan that includes an advanced surgical reconstruction approach to achieve a favorable long-term prognosis, maintain the natural healthy dentition, and overcome the need for prosthesis.
Written informed consent was obtained from the patient for publication of this case report and any accompanying images. A copy of the written consent is available for review by the Editor-in-Chief of this journal.
The support of Dr Suhaila Muhammad Ali, Dr Khairul Bariah Chi Adam and the clinical staff of the periodontics specialist clinic of International Islamic University Malaysia is gratefully acknowledged.
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