The fifth learning objective of this course is to describe patterns of bone loss and their prognostic and treatment implications. Bone lost to chronic periodontitis can create bone defects with varying characteristics. For example, intrabony defects can have 1, 2 or 3 walls, they can be wide or narrow; and they can be shallow or deep. In general, deep and narrow defects with more bony walls have the greatest and most predictable chance for successful gain in attachment following periodontal surgery. Other factors strongly influencing the chances for attachment gains include the patient's local, behavioral and systemic conditions and characteristics. Plaque control, smoking, systemic conditions clearly affect surgical outcomes. Other factors such as bone lost in furcation areas are complicating considerations.9
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