If you are diagnosed with periodontitis, periodontal surgery may be necessary to prevent further deterioration of your oral health. As an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Daria Hamrah performs crown lengthening and soft tissue grafting on patients referred to him.
Candidates for Periodontal Surgery
Typically, those who have severely deteriorated tissue surrounding their teeth are candidates for periodontal surgery, as non-surgical solutions are inadequate. Yet only a consultation with your periodontist can determine the appropriate treatment method.
Reasons for periodontal surgery include:
- Pockets of plaque have become so severe that gum and bone have withered away and must be regenerated
- Plaque has been removed, but extensive damage necessitates your gums being repositioned to avoid areas that can easily collect plaque
- The gum line must be raised so tooth damage can be repaired
- A recession of the gum line has resulted in a toothy smile that is not aesthetically pleasing
Dr. Hamrah performs crown lengthening on patients who need to reshape their gums to expose additional tooth surface due to severe tooth decay below the gum line. The end goal behind this procedure is to provide a foundation for future tooth restoration.
It is performed under local anesthesia, and the procedure’s duration is dependent on the number of teeth being lengthened. Even if only one tooth requires lengthening, typically the surrounding teeth will be further exposed to allow the tissues to progressively reshape. The procedure is as follows:
- Cuts are made to create distance between the gums and teeth, exposing the tooth’s root and neighboring bone
- Once a satisfactory amount of bone is exposed, the area is sterilized and the gums stitched back together
Prescriptions for pain medication are supplied, and your diet should be adjusted to consist of soft items for the days following the procedure.
Soft Tissue Grafting
If your gum tissue has severely recessed, soft tissue grafting is a solution to supply additional gum tissue. It will:
- Prevent further gum decay
- Reduce tooth sensitivity
- Better the tooth’s appearance
There are three types of soft tissue grafting procedures: free-gingival grafts, connective-tissue grafts, and pedicle grafts.A free-gingival graft involves removing a minor amount of gum tissue from the roof of the mouth. This gum tissue is then stitched to damaged gum tissue.
If root exposure is present, a connective-tissue graft is performed. This involves skin being cut from the roof of the mouth. Then, tissue from beneath the flap is removed, tucked under the gum tissue that neighbors an exposed root, and secured by sutures.
A pedicle graft involves gum tissue being cut from a healthy tooth and grafted to a damaged one. If you live in the Washington, D.C. or Northern Virginia areas and believe you are a candidate for periodontal surgery, please contact Northern Virginia Oral Surgeon Dr. Hamrah today to schedule your personal consultation.