October 6, 2015

Cosmetic Procedures

Today more and more patients are asking that their smiles be as attractive as possible. However, even with new crowns or veneers, if the gum level is irregular, or if roots are exposed, the appearance will never be satisfactory. Newer cosmetic periodontal surgery is solving many of these problems, both with and without the use of crowns and veneers.

Correcting the Gummy Smile

The gummy smile makes the teeth look short and not in proportion with the patient’s face. By sculpting the gum to make the teeth appear more natural, the smile can be greatly enhanced.

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Root Coverage

When there is gum recession, the root of the tooth often shows and is unsightly. Gum grafting is needed to restore health (See Gum Recession), but root coverage may also be desired to improve appearance. This is generally accomplished with a connective tissue graft, which provides new attached gingiva while covering the root surface.

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Irregular Gum Levels

See Crown Lengthening to Improve Appearance of Irregular Gum Levels.

Ridge Augmentation

When teeth are extracted, the bone often resorbs during healing and leaves an indentation in the gum. When a bridge is placed, this concavity prevents the artificial tooth from looking real – it looks like it is just lying on the gum. By repairing the ridge defect with a ridge augmentation, the artificial tooth now looks like it is growing out of the gum, and cannot be distinguished from the natural teeth.

The best way to treat a ridge deficiency is to prevent it from occurring. The amount of bone loss from an extraction can be minimized by performing a ridge augmentation at the time of extraction.

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