Like many people, we understand that the word “surgery” carries many thoughts and emotions with it. Furthermore, it sounds very complex. Add “periodontal” to the mix and the whole procedure becomes a vague idea that causes eyes to glaze over. However, periodontal surgery is a fantastic treatment for a variety of problems and can help you achieve the oral health and smile that you’ve always wanted. Let’s break down a couple of the periodontal surgery procedures that we offer in our office.
Crown lengthening, or crown exposure, is undertaken when your tooth needs a new crown or other restoration, but a portion of the area in need of restoration is below the gum tissue and therefore inaccessible. In many cases, it is also too close to the bone or even below the bone.
The procedure involves adjusting the levels of the gum tissue and bone around the tooth to create a new, more effective gum-tooth relationship. This allows us to reach new areas during restoration to ensure a proper fit to the tooth. It should also provide enough tooth structure so the new restoration will not come loose in the future. This allows you to clean the edge of the restoration when you brush and floss to prevent decay and gum disease. The procedure takes approximately one hour.
The procedure requires sutures and a protective bandage upon completion to help secure the new gum/tooth arrangement. One or two weeks after the procedure, you will need to return so that we can remove the sutures and make sure your gums are properly healing.
Dental implants are replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. If you are missing one or more teeth, dental implants can allow you to regain normal function and be able to confidently show off a nice smile once again.
There’s no shame in losing a tooth. About 64% of people ages 35 to 44 have lost at least one tooth due to an accident, serious decay or another cause, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. By the time we reach the age of 74, one in four of us has no teeth at all.
The implants themselves are tiny titanium objects placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The jawbone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for the new tooth. They are the go-to permanent solution for missing teeth, and they can last a lifetime if cared for properly.
That can’t be said of dentures or bridges — the things we relied on in the past when teeth were lost. Dental implants do not need to be removed like dentures, sparing you the embarrassment of having to remove dentures before eating. Implants don’t rely on other teeth for placement, like a bridge, and they do not impact speech or eating.
In addition to these benefits, dental implants can also help preserve facial structure by preventing bone deterioration that can occur when a tooth is missing. For all of these reasons, dental implants are the recommended option when most patients lose a tooth.
The gums — known as the gingiva — provide a natural defense against trauma and bacterial penetration to your teeth. If gum recession becomes a problem, the gums can be reconstructed via grafting in order to restore this protection.
Minor gum recession can be addressed through a variety of home remedies. However, prompt action is encouraged when gum recession becomes severe.
When the gums recede, not only is a natural protection mechanism lost, but the result is unsightly and can leave the roots of the teeth particularly sensitive to hot and cold foods. Severe gum recession may even expose the roots, leading to potentially severe problems.
A gingival graft is designed to solve these problems. A thin piece of tissue is taken from the roof of the mouth or gently moved over from adjacent areas, to provide a stable, healthy band of flesh around the tooth.
The procedure is highly predictable and typically successful in addressing the problems associated with gum recession.
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