Periodontal Plastic Surgery Procedures
PERIODONTAL PLASTIC SURGERY: Procedures used to reshape the tissues around the teeth or implants to prevent or correct anatomical, developmental, traumatic, or plaque-induced defects of the gingiva, alveolar mucosa, or bone. These include:
Aesthetic crown lengthening is a procedure to remove excess gum or bone tissue, exposing more of the “crown” of the tooth. This procedure is for patients who feel their teeth are too short or their gum line is uneven. The gum line is then sculpted to create the right proportion between gum tissue and tooth surface. This can be done to just one tooth, or to enhance your entire smile.
Crown lengthening may also be requested by your dentist to make a restorative or cosmetic dental procedure possible. A tooth may be decayed, broken below the gum line, or has insufficient tooth structure for a restoration, such as a crown or bridge. Crown lengthening adjusts the gum and bone level to expose more of the tooth so it can be restored.
Sometimes gum recession causes the tooth root to become exposed, which makes your teeth look long, become very sensitive, or difficult to keep clean. This recession can happen as a result of a variety of causes, including periodontal diseases, toothbrush abrasion or tooth movement.
Gum graft surgery and other root coverage procedures are designed to cover exposed roots, to reduce further gum recession and to protect vulnerable roots from decay. The gum is lifted up and repositioned over the exposed root. Thin gum is often made thicker by placing a piece of tissue taken from elsewhere in the patient’s mouth. Collagen or skin tissue from animal or human donor sources may also be used.
Tooth loss can cause an indentation in the gums and jawbone where the tooth used to be. This happens because the jawbone recedes when it no longer is holding a tooth in place. Not only is this indention unnatural looking, it also causes the replacement tooth to look too long compared to the adjacent teeth.
Ridge augmentation can fill in this defect recapturing a more natural contour of the gums and jaw. A new tooth can then be created that is natural looking, easy to clean and more aesthetic. Connective tissue and bone from the patient or donor tissue are often used. Other substitute collagen or bone materials are also available.