Bone grafting is where the jawbone is built up to accommodate a dental implant or other restorative device. Bone grafting is a common procedure that is used frequently for dental implants and other periodontal procedures. The bone used to graft is taken from a sample from the patient. Many times, the bone is taken from another area of the mouth when drilling takes place. The bone fragments are suctioned from the mouth and used for the graft. Cadaver bone fragments are also used. They are harvested by bone banks and are a very safe source for bone donation.
When you lose teeth, and do not replace them, the jawbone deteriorates where the tooth socket once was. This makes it difficult and, in some instances, impossible to get dental implants or dentures later on. You may not have had the financial means at the time of the extraction for restorative surgery, but you may have the money now. The good news is that we can perform a process called ridge augmentation to restore the bone structure that is needed for restorative procedures such as dental implants. The process involves lifting the gum from the ridge to expose the defective area of the bone. Then the dentist uses a bone like substance to fill the void. The ridge augmentation greatly increases the chances for success with the implants. With ridge augmentation, your implants will last for years.
Loss of posterior teeth may result in excessive force being placed on your remaining teeth. Fortunately, the use of dental implants and crowns allow you to replace these missing teeth. However, the position of the sinus in the upper posterior areas may be too low for proper placement of dental implants.
A simple procedure allows the sinus floor to be repositioned, creating enough space to properly place an implant. Various grafting materials are used to encourage your bone to grow more quickly into the area, helping to stabilize the dental implant.
Under certain conditions, an even simpler procedure can be utilized. When possible, the bone remaining under the sinus floor is gently “pushed up”, thus lifting the floor of the “dropped” sinus. Bone replacement materials are then placed beneath this lifted bone. Once again, the bone materials are replaced as your body grows new bone into this area.
Sinus augmentation procedures are highly predictable, with studies reporting over 95% success. Following sufficient healing of a sinus augmentation (6-10 months), implants are placed in a predictable and successful manner. It is important to realize that if the sinus augmentation procedure does not result in enough bone for implant placement, additional bone may be regenerated through a second sinus augmentation procedure at the time of implant placement.
It is no secret that dentists are committed to saving teeth. This is why we fill a cavity, instead of pulling the tooth.
Cavities can decay a tooth to the point where restoration is virtually impossible without a procedure called crown lengthening. Crown lengthening is a routine surgical procedure, which reshapes the contour of the gum line. The procedure does not actually lengthen the crown, but rather lowers the gum line. When there is not enough tooth structure to affix a crown, this is the only option. Sometimes a tooth has been broken below the gum line. In this instance, crown lengthening is very successful in exposing more of the tooth, so that the dentist has more to work with.
A frenulum is a piece of tissue that restricts movement of the lips or tongue. There is a frenulum that attaches your upper lip to the gums, while another connects the lower lip to the gums. A frenulum that is too short or thick will cause problems in speech patterns and tooth misalignment. In infants, a shortened frenulum underneath the tongue will inhibit breastfeeding. When the frenulum disrupts movement, growth, or development, corrective action is necessary to resolve the situation.
A frenectomy is a minor surgical procedure that is performed in your dentist’s office. It can be performed with either a scalpel or laser and takes less than 15 minutes. Using a laser causes very little bleeding and does not require stitches. A laser also results in less postoperative discomfort and a shorter healing time. Young children and infants are put under general anesthesia for the procedure and adults have the procedure performed using local anesthesia. If your child needs a frenectomy, there is nothing to worry about. The procedure is very successful and causes minimal discomfort.
Cosmetic Periodontal Surgery
Your smile is the first thing someone notices about you. People form their first impressions based on the appearance of your smile. There was a time when, unless you made a lot of money or were born with perfect teeth, you had to live with your smile. Today, a wide range of cosmetic procedures is available to the average citizen, at a cost they can afford. If you have a “gummy” smile, uneven gum line or elongated teeth, cosmetic periodontal surgery is for you.
Cosmetic periodontal surgery sculpts the gum line so that it is even and in proportion to the amount of exposed tooth versus gum. This procedure removes the excess gum and exposes more of the tooth crown. If your gums have receded, and your teeth appear overly long, then soft tissue grafts can extend the gum line to create an aesthetic balance. The grafts also reduce the gum pockets that are prone to future periodontal disease.
If you are unhappy with your smile, give us a call to discuss your options. After all, you only have one chance to make a first impression.
Scaling & Root Planing
Plaque and tarter that sits on the teeth provides an environment, which allows bacteria to thrive and multiply. The bacteria cause the gums to become inflamed and bleed. The condition becomes more noticeable when you brush your teeth or sometimes when you eat. These are signs of the early stage of gingivitis. Gingivitis is easily treated by having the hygienist scale and polish the teeth. If gingivitis is left untreated, the condition will progress and the roots will need to be planed. The difference between scaling and root planing is simple. Scaling is the removal of the dental tartar from the tooth surface. Root planing is the process of removing plaque from the root surfaces.
As a non-surgical procedure, scaling and root planing can be performed without any anesthesia in the dentist’s office. While the procedure is usually painless, advanced stages of gingivitis may make it necessary to numb the area for complete comfort. Deep scaling and root planing is usually broken down into one section of the mouth per appointment. This allows for adequate healing time, and reduces the time for each appointment.
As a non-surgical procedure, scaling and root planing can be performed with local anesthesia in the dentist’s office. Deep scaling and root planing is usually broken down into two appointments. This allows for adequate healing time, and reduces the time for each appointment.
Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure – Cementum-mediated periodontal ligament new attachment to the root surface in the absence of long junctional epithelium.
Periodontal (gum) Disease
Periodontal (gum) disease is insidious. It is an infection of the gums that starts out as plaque, an opaque film on the teeth that hardens to form tartar. As tartar accumulates, it harbors bacteria that attack the soft tissue around the gums. This is the early stage of gum disease known as gingivitis. Left untreated, gingivitis becomes periodontitis which ultimately destroys the tissue surrounding your teeth AND the bone that holds your teeth in place. Except for bad breath and gums that bleed, there are very few early warning signals. The disease advances silently, often without pain, and before you know it, you are losing your teeth and you don’t know why.
Tooth loss is only the most obvious indicator of gum disease. Scientific research has discovered a link between gum disease and stroke, heart disease, diabetes – even an increased risk for pregnant women. When your gums become diseased, your entire immune system is weakened.
In the past, fear of painful dental surgery has kept people with gum disease from seeking the care they needed. Well, those days are gone forever.