Tooth loss occurs for many reasons; dental decay, root canal problems, fractures, periodontal disease and trauma. Additionally at times teeth never develop. As a result of tooth loss the bone melts away. If there is inadequate bone to support surrounding teeth and future possible dental implant(s), bone grafting materials are used to rebuild and regenerate the bone providing sufficient bone in quantity and quality for implant placements and supporting tooth structure.
Crown lengthening is a surgical procedure that re-contours the gum tissue and often the underlying bone of a tooth. Crown lengthening is often for a tooth to be fitted with a crown. It provides necessary space between the supporting bone and crown, which prevents the new crown from damaging bone and gum tissue.
When deep pockets between teeth and gums (6 millimeters or deeper) are present, it is difficult for a dentist to thoroughly remove the plaque and tartar. Flap surgery is a procedure where the gum flap is lifted away from the tooth. Diseased tissue and sometimes bone is removed. The rough surfaces of the tooth are then smoothed by root planing. The area is medicated and the gum flap is replaced and sutured allowing the bone and gum tissue to heal.
One of the goals of flap surgery is to reduce the depth of the periodontal pockets to make them easier to keep clean.
If a patient has an excess amount of tissue that connects the lower and upper lips to the jaw and gum line, a frenectomy procedure is performed to remove the excess tissue.
A gum lift may be performed to create a more even gum line. Patients with a gummy smile can quickly and safely have unwanted tissue removed, thus exposing more tooth to shape a more attractive smile.
In the back of the upper jaw bone, dental implants are frequently needed. In order for a dental implant to be successful in this area of the mouth there must be sufficient bone height and width to connect (integrate) to the dental implant. When the upper back teeth are lost and not replaced, the sinus cavity becomes enlarged destroying any bone that is left behind. This very large sinus is like a "giant air pocket" and not capable of supporting an implant. A procedure known as sinus grafting (sinus lift) is performed to create bone that will ultimately hold the implants within the sinus. Sinus grafting is an extremely common form of bone grafting.
A frequent periodontal condition is known as gum recession. This means the existing gum tissue has receded up or down the root of the tooth exposing various amounts of the root. Root exposure can create root sensitivity especially to hot and cold, an increased potential for root decay, and/or esthetic concerns. Gum grafting procedures are the treatment of choice to prevent the recession from continuing further. There are many different types of recession and hence many different types of gum grafting. Some are aimed at covering the root of the tooth and other procedures are focused on providing an excellent new zone of gum tissue to halt the recession.