Periodontal plastic surgery

Periodontal plastic surgery

Periodontal plastic surgery is an aesthetic procedure performed on the gums and sometimes on the bone that supports it to improve the smile or facilitate a restoration.

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The two forms of periodontal plastic surgery

Also known as gum reduction surgery or crown lengthening surgery, periodontal plastic surgery may be recommended when the amount of gingival tissue is too large. This periodontal surgery intervention can take two forms and can be performed by a general dentist or a periodontist.

Crown lengthening

People who find their gums too apparent (gummy smile) could benefit of an aesthetic crown lengthening. This intervention is essentially an "enhancement of gums". During surgery, the dentist removes excess gingival and bone tissue and redraws the gingival contour to expose the natural tooth further. Although it can be done on a single tooth, the procedure can affect all teeth visible when the patient smiles. The natural tooth is thus more exposed, creating a smile where the gums are less visible.

Aesthetic crown lengthening can also be used to protect the health of your teeth. Removal of excess gum tissue by means of gum reduction surgery can help to curb and prevent periodontal disease. An increase in the exposed surface of the tooth will reduce the depth of the periodontal pockets between teeth and gums, where bacteria can multiply and affect oral health.

Before the procedure, your dentist will administer a local anesthetic to reduce pain and discomfort. He then makes small incisions in the gingival tissue to separate the gums from the teeth. In some cases, it will also take a small amount of bone to attain the desired smile countour. Once the procedure is completed, the dentist will clean the incisions with sterilized water, close them with stitches, and place a protective dressing over the treated area, facilitating the adhesion of the redesigned gingival contour. An appointment will be made one or two weeks later to follow the progress of your healing.

Functional Crown lengthening

It may be necessary to use a functional crown lengthening to perform a cosmetic or restoration procedure. This is the case when a tooth is too affected by cavities, broken under the gum or the structure is insufficient for a restoration with a crown or bridge. In these cases of gum reduction surgery, your dentist may need to alter the level of the gum and bone to expose a larger area of the root and allow for restoration. However, a simple reduction of the gum is rarely enough. Instead, the contour of the support bone will need to be redrawn to allow for a larger surface area and adequate restoration

The procedure is similar to esthetic crown lengthening, as it also requires the administration of a local anesthetic. The dentist practices small incisions to remove the gingival tissue and redraw the area to be treated. Once he has completed the gum reduction surgery, the dentist will make stitches that will need to be removed one or two weeks later. Once the area is completely healed, six to eight weeks later, the final restoration may be practiced.