Duration: 1 hour, 5 minutes, 39 seconds

Author: Dr. Marco Ronda

GBR Series Part 1 of 4: Surgical Approach


Guided bone regeneration (GBR) techniques are highly effective in vertical bone regeneration. In this article, we will explore the surgical approach to GBR and how it can be applied in the posterior lower jaw, where mandibular atrophy is often observed. We will also discuss the limitations of using short implants in this area and the role of barriers in creating a favorable environment for bone regeneration.

The Importance of GBR in the Posterior Lower Jaw

The posterior lower jaw is a common site of atrophy, leading to significant challenges in dental implant placement. Traditional implant techniques may not yield satisfactory results in terms of soft tissue quality around the implants. This is where GBR comes into play.

The Role of Barriers in GBR

GBR involves the utilization of barriers, such as titanium mesh or non-absorbable membranes, to create a space for bone regeneration. These barriers act as a physical barrier, preventing soft tissue ingress and allowing for undisturbed bone formation. They promote bone growth while preventing the migration of unwanted cells.

Benefits of GBR Barriers

  • Promotes bone regeneration
  • Prevents soft tissue ingress
  • Controls cell migration

One-Stage Approach

One of the surgical approaches for GBR in the posterior lower jaw is the one-stage approach. With this technique, the implant is placed simultaneously with the bone grafting material. A membrane or mesh is used to cover the graft and protect it during the healing process.

Advantages of the One-Stage Approach

  • Reduced surgical time and discomfort
  • Single-stage procedure
  • Potential for immediate implant loading

Considerations for the One-Stage Approach

While the one-stage approach offers several advantages, it’s important to consider certain factors:

  • Patient’s overall health and ability to heal
  • Extent of bone loss
  • Presence of infections
  • Smoking habits

Two-Stage Approach

The two-stage approach is another method employed in posterior lower jaw GBR procedures. This technique involves a staged approach, with the bone grafting material placed first, followed by a delayed implant placement after complete bone regeneration.

Advantages of the Two-Stage Approach

  • Allows for optimal bone regeneration
  • Allows time for graft integration
  • Minimizes complications

Considerations for the Two-Stage Approach

While the two-stage approach offers distinct advantages, it also requires careful considerations:

  • Patient’s willingness to undergo a two-stage procedure
  • Longer overall treatment time
  • Additional surgical intervention


Guided bone regeneration (GBR) techniques have revolutionized vertical bone regeneration, particularly in the posterior lower jaw. By employing barriers and utilizing either the one-stage or two-stage approach, dental professionals can overcome the challenges posed by mandibular atrophy and achieve optimal bone regeneration. Careful patient selection and case evaluation are crucial in determining the most suitable approach for each individual. GBR opens up new possibilities for successful implant placement and long-term stability in challenging anatomical conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is GBR suitable for all patients with mandibular atrophy?

GBR can be an effective technique for many patients with mandibular atrophy. However, proper case evaluation is essential to determine the individual’s suitability for the procedure.

2. How long does it take for bone regeneration to occur?

The duration of bone regeneration varies from patient to patient. It depends on various factors such as the extent of bone loss, overall health, and compliance with post-operative instructions.

3. Are there any risks associated with GBR?

As with any surgical procedure, GBR carries certain risks. These may include infection, graft failure, or complications related to the barrier material. However, with proper planning and technique, these risks can be minimized.

4. Can GBR be combined with other bone grafting techniques?

Yes, GBR can be combined with other bone grafting techniques, such as autogenous bone grafts or allografts, to enhance bone regeneration in complex cases.

5. How long do I need to wait before placing the implant?

The waiting period for implant placement after GBR varies depending on the chosen approach and the patient’s individual healing response. Your dentist or oral surgeon will assess when it is appropriate to proceed with implant placement.

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