Periodontal Plastic Surgery
At times, teeth may be broken or decayed beneath the gum line. The crown lengthening procedure may save a tooth that otherwise has to be extracted because of a deep cavity or deep fracture below the gum line. Additionally, some patients suffer from having a “gummy” smile. If the “gummy” smile is due to excess gum tissue and unnaturally shortened teeth, the crown lengthening procedure can remove excess gum tissue to restore a balanced, healthy and beautiful smile.
Crown lengthening is a minor procedure often performed under local anesthesia. A small incision is made within the gum tissue around the targeted teeth to allow access for shaping the hard tissue and lowering the gum line. This allows for more accessible tooth structure to be utilized while your restorative dentist makes a crown. The new hard and soft tissue contours then allow for a healthier physiologic space between the bone and margin of the crown. Dissolvable sutures are placed to secure the tissue during the healing process.
Having thick and healthy gums that cover the roots of teeth is essential for the longevity of our teeth. The lack of gum tissue around one or more teeth is known as Gum Recession. Recession results in an unhealthy and unattractive condition. Aside from complaints of root sensitivity, patients have an increased risk of developing root cavities due to the less mineralized and porous root surface. Recession often continues over time if left untreated. Because the tissue is unable to repair itself, the tissue may need to be augmented or replaced with minor procedures.
Gum grafting restores the healthy band of gum tissue that supports the underlying bone. Thin and receded gums are prone to gingivitis and periodontitis (bone loss). There are several types of soft tissue grafting to include self-tissue (autografts), donated human tissue (allografts) and animal tissue (xenografts). The choice of grafting depends on a patient’s existing anatomy and goals of the procedure.