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Gum & Jawbone Corrective Treatments

There are many reasons why the gums and jawbone may require corrective treatment, including periodontal disease, trauma and birth defects. Periodontal disease particularly, can greatly disfigure the natural appearance of the gums and teeth and give the smile an unaesthetic appearance.

New “cosmetic surgery” procedures are now available in periodontics, which effectively correct cosmetic problems and restore natural beauty to the smile.

Here are some of the most common gum and jawbone corrective treatments:

Common Gum Treatments

  • Crown lengthening (gum lift) – Crown lengthening is usually performed to correct a “gummy” smile, or to expose more of the tooth prior to a restorative surgery.  In some cases, the teeth look short and stubby and partly covered by gum tissue due to genetics or gingivitis.  Excess gum tissue can easily be removed to reshape the outline of the gums, expose the natural tooth length, and provide a fuller, more attractive smile.  The same procedure is also an excellent way to create a more aesthetic gumline for dental crowns and other restorative procedures.

  • Gum grafts – Gum grafts are generally performed to correct a crooked smile, or to restore symmetry to the gumline after periodontal disease has been treated.  Periodontal disease causes the gums to recede; making the smile look overly “toothy.”  During a gum graft, a thin strip of tissue is removed from the palate and stitched in place over the recession site.  Gum grafts are often used to re-contour the gum line and give the teeth a more pleasing appearance.

  • Pocket reduction surgery – Periodontal disease can cause the smile to be marred with unattractive teeth, brown gums and ridge indentations.  The aim of pocket reduction surgery is to clean the root surfaces of the teeth e subgingivally (beneath the gum line).  During this procedure, tartar, plaque and bacteria that are affecting the teeth and gums will be removed.  The gum is first gently separated away from the tooth, and then the calculus (tartar) and plaque are removed using special ultrasonic and hand instruments.  An antimicrobial liquid may be administered to the area to destroy bacteria colonies and ensure the pockets are given the chance to naturally heal.  Pocket reduction surgery is an effective way to restore health to the gums and bone.

Common Jawbone Treatments

  • Sinus augmentation – This procedure is usually performed prior to the placement of dental implants, to ensure that the prosthetic teeth are both functional and firmly affixed to the bone.  The success of an implant hinges on the quantity and quality of the jawbone to which it will be attached.  If the jawbone has receded or been injured, a sinus augmentation can slightly elevate the sinus floor to allow new bone to form.  Generally, a small incision is made in the bone and the underlying space is packed with grafting material.  The incision is sutured closed, and the implant will be placed when healing has occurred.

  • Ridge modification – Ridge modification procedures are used to treat deformities in the jawbone which have occurred due to periodontal disease, trauma or birth defects.  Birth defects particularly, can leave an unattractive indentation in the jaw, which makes placing dental implants difficult.  During the ridge modification procedure, the gum is gently pulled away from the bone to fully expose the defect.  The defect is filled with bone graft material or a similar synthetic product and then sutured closed.  When healing occurs, the cosmetic appearance of the jaw is much improved and implants can be successfully placed where necessary.

  • Bone grafts – There are a wide variety of reasons why a bone graft may be necessary.  Bone grafting thickens the jawbone to allow for the successful placement of implant anchors.  Bone grafts can also help elevate the sinus floor, fill craters or deformities in the jawbone itself, or allow for successful nerve repositioning.  The grafting material may be harvested from the lower jaw, the iliac section of the pelvis, or synthetically created.  In most cases, a small opening is made in the jawbone and packed with the bone graft material.  Sutures are placed and restorative treatments are performed when healing is complete.

If you have questions or concerns regarding Gum or Jawbone corrective treatments please ask your dentist.

Testimonials.

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Testimonials

"I have been seeing Dr. Butler and his staff at BridgeCreek Prosthetic Dentistry for over five
years for regular dentistry and other oral health issues. Dr. Butler's approach to dentistry has
been perfect for my needs, as he understand and treats serious problems when they arise,
but also takes a conservative approach when it is warranted, and does not perform
unnecessary treatments or interventions. This has saved me not only significant sums of
money over what other care providers recommended for my oral health needs, but has also
saved me from a lot of unnecessary procedures and the pain and inconvenience related
thereto.

I would recommend Bridgecreek Prosthetic Dentistry to anyone, no matter what level of oral
health care you need."

J. Swift

Texas A & M
Texas Health Science Center
Baylor College of Dentistry

April 25, 2013

Dr. Dennis Waguespack, DDS

For some reason I cannot explain why I wanted to write you and Baylor College of Dentistry a letter. I am not good at letter writing, so I hope you understand, I am just trying to express my good feelings and appreciation of the professional service I received over the last year or so.

I have been attending the Baylor College of Dentistry for twenty years and been very pleased with all the services. About two years ago, I reached an important decision concerning the reconstruction of my entire mouth. After some careful and professional consulting with Dr. Nagy, we decided to proceed with a complete restoration of all my mouth.

I was very lucky to be picked / assigned to you.

I just wanted you and Baylor to know how pleased I am with all the extensive work you have performed on me for over a year. I now have totally functional teeth, as well as better aesthetics than anytime in my life. I am proud to smile and show all of my new teeth.

Dr. Waguespack, I wish you the very best in your new practice in Denver. I am so very pleased with your professionalism standards, perfect work, and your leadership with my issues. I would highly recommend you to anyone needing dentistry attention.


Regards

Edwin Stanaland

Edwin Stanaland

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