Esthetic Surgical Procedures
- Periodontal Plastic Surgery (gingival grafts, connective tissue allografts & autografts)
- Root Coverage Gum Grafting
- Gingivectomy, Gum Alignment & Gum Recontouring
- Gum & Bone Replacement (Pre-Prosthetic Ridge Augmentation – soft and/or hard tissue)
- Pontic site development (Pre-Prosthetic)
Cosmetic Tooth Lengthening (for correction of the “gummy” smile)
Although your teeth appear short, they may actually be the proper length. The teeth may be covered with too much gum tissue. We can correct this by performing the periodontal plastic surgery procedure, crown lengthening. During this procedure, excess gum and bone tissue are reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth. This can be done to more than one tooth, to even your gum line, and to create a beautiful smile.
This procedure is aimed to improve the esthetic appearence of people with a “gummy” smile, where a smile shows large amount of gums. The upper lip is repositioned below its original location. This cosmetically lowers the smile line, causing less gum tissue to show during a smile. It is indicated for a patient with a prominent upper jaw that would like to expose less gum tissue in a smile.
Root Coverage Gum Grafting
When there is only minor recession, some healthy gingiva often remains and protects the tooth, so that no treatment other than modifying home care practices is necessary. However, when recession reaches the mucosa, the first line of defense against bacterial penetration is lost.
In addition, gum recession often results in root sensitivity to hot and cold foods as well as an unsightly appearance of the gum and tooth. When significant, gum recession can predispose to worsening recession and expose the root surface, which is softer than enamel, leading to root caries and root gouging.
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 band of attached gingiva around the tooth. The gingival graft may be placed in such a way as to cover the exposed portion of the root.
The gum tissue can be very thick and large covering the tooth surface making the teeth look short. This can happen because of medications, bone that extends too close to the surface of the teeth, or inflammation due to gum disease.
The following are some reasons a gingivectomy might be needed:
Cosmetics: To make the teeth look normal in size when the gum is covering too much of it, making the teeth look longer and more proportional.
Functional/Esthetics: To remove excess gum tissue (gingival overgrowth) that has formed as a result of certain drugs such as anti-seizure and organ-transplant medications, and certain high blood pressure medications.
Bone and gum health around the teeth: To shrink deep gum pockets. This procedure might require some bone work as well.
Gum & Bone Replacement
A ridge augmentation is a common dental procedure often performed following a tooth extraction to help recreate the natural contour of the gums and jaw that may have been lost due to bone loss as a result of a tooth extraction, or for another reason.
The alveolar ridge of the jaw is the bone that surrounds the roots of teeth. When a tooth is removed, an empty socket is left in the alveolar ridge bone. Usually this empty socket will heal on its own, filling with bone and tissue. Sometimes when a tooth is removed, the bone surrounding the socket breaks, and it unable to heal on its own. The previous height and width of the socket will continue to deteriorate.
Rebuilding the original height and width of the alveolar ridge is not medically necessary, but may be required for dental implant placement, or for aesthetic purposes. Dental implants require bone to support their structure, and a ridge augmentation can help rebuild this bone to accommodate the implant.