A number of periodontal plastic-surgical procedures are available to strengthen thin, weak gum tissue, as well as to enhance the cosmetic appearance of the soft tissues. They serve to help maintain teeth, treat sensitivity, or improve the esthetics of your smile. They include soft tissue grafts and esthetic crown lengthening.
Soft Tissue Grafting (Long Teeth or Exposed Roots)
Connective Tissue Grafting
The unsightly “long in the tooth” appearance of a tooth caused by recession can be eliminated with the use of a connective tissue graft (which utilizes a small piece of tissue from the roof of the mouth). By achieving reattachment of the gum to the previously exposed root surface, the esthetics are improved and sensitivity is reduced or eliminated.
Similar to a connective tissue graft, an allogeneic graft is used to treat the “long in the tooth” appearance. However, a piece of tissue from a donor bank is utilized instead of from the patient’s mouth, which eliminates the additional healing site on the patient’s palate (roof of mouth). The reattachment of the gum to the previously exposed root surface improves the esthetics and reduces or eliminates the sensitivity.
Esthetic Crown Lengthening & Gingival Contouring (Gummy Smile or Uneven Gum Line)
The excessive display of gums when smiling results in what is often referred to as a “gummy smile”. This unsightly appearance can be corrected by altering the level of the gum line with an esthetic crown lengthening procedure or a gingivectomy. This technique is also utilized to eliminate uneven gum levels on adjacent teeth.
Soft Tissue Ridge Augmentation (Indentations in the Gums and Jawbone)
When a tooth or teeth have been missing for some time, the bone goes through changes that cause it to shrink, ultimately compromising the esthetics of the smile. Soft tissue augmentation is a technique that uses soft tissue from the patient’s palate (roof of mouth) to help bulk the bony ridge in order to restore esthetics. This treatment is ideal for patients missing a tooth and considering a bridge instead of an implant, because it make the final esthetic result appear more natural and restores the patient’s esthetics.