Oral Plastic Surgery
What is an Oral Plastic Surgeon?
A beautiful smile makes a great first impression and can enhance your confidence personally and professionally. Periodontists are trained specialists in the regeneration and reconstruction of lost or missing gum and bone tissue. Oral Plastic Surgery can restore lost gum and bone tissue around tooth roots, reshape unsightly gum tissue, regenerate lost bone due to trauma or periodontal diseases, and cosmetically enhance a site in preparation for dental implant placement.
What is Oral Plastic Surgery?
Periodontal plastic surgery is performed to lay the groundwork for restorative and cosmetic dentistry including crowns, bridges and veneers, in order to improve the look of the gum line.
Different types of Oral Plastic Surgery:
- Esthetic Crown Lengthening
- Functional Crown Lengthening
- Root Recession Repair (subepithelial connective tissue graft)
- Ridge Modification
- Mucogingival Surgery
Esthetic Crown Lengthening
If your teeth look short, or if you have a “gummy” smile, you can dramatically improve your smile in as little as an hour through a procedure called esthetic crown lengthening, known as a “gum lift”. Crown lengthening involves reshaping excess gum and bone tissue to reveal more of your natural teeth. Depending on your preferences, the lengthening procedure can be used for a single tooth or a series of teeth.
Functional Crown Lengthening
When teeth are decayed or broken down close to or below the gum line, they can often be saved through functional crown lengthening which can expose more of the tooth so your dentist can repair it with a crown or new restoration. Whether you have crown lengthening to improve function or esthetics, you will receive the benefits of both a beautiful smile and improved periodontal health.
Root Recession Repair (subepithelial connective tissue graft)
Gum recession is the result of movement of the gum line down the root of a tooth. Gum recession occurs as a result of bone loss around the tooth. This recession can be localized to one particular tooth, or generalized in the mouth. Common symptoms can vary from no symptoms at all to tooth sensitivity, inflammation of the tissue, root exposure and cavity development, to esthetic concerns. Today, root recessions are easily repaired with simple tissue graft procedures.
Gum and bone recession can occur in areas of the mouth where teeth have been removed or have been missing. This is referred to as “ridge resorption”. This resorption can be due to loss of gum, underlying bone, or both and can be localized to one area or effect broader areas where teeth are missing. Ridge resorption often leads to food traps resulting in tooth decay as well as gum disease. It can also be a significant esthetic problem when it occurs in the “smile zone”, areas in the mouth visible during a smile. Ridge modification can be performed to improve the defects in the gum and bone, repairing the area for better esthetics and function.
A frenectomy surgically repositions the frenum in the mouth. A frenum is a fold of tissue that passes from the movable lip or cheek to the gum. There are multiple frenums within the mouth, the most prominent being the ones in the front of the upper and lower teeth. When a frenum is positioned in such a way as to interfere with the normal alignment of teeth or results in pulling away of the gum from the tooth surface causing recession, they require repositioning with a simple, single surgical procedure.
When recession of the gum occurs, the body loses a natural defense against both bacterial penetration and trauma. When gum recession is a problem gum reconstruction using tissue grafts are often necessary. Tissue grafts are performed 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 gum around the tooth.