Periodontics is the field of dentistry that covers the structures that surround and support teeth. Periodontists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease and the implementation of implants.

Crown Lengthening

Crown lengthening is a procedure where the gums are lifted in order to reveal more of the tooth so that the tooth can be fixed. Periodontic specialists most often perform this procedure. This is often done to raise the gums in the event that they are covering too much of the tooth, or a tooth that is so damaged and decayed that to the find the source and fix the problem, the gums must be raised to reveal more of the tooth. During the process extra gum and tissue are fixed so that more of the natural tooth is shown. This is often for cosmetic and aesthetic purposes, or in other words, to fix a person’s smile and make it more natural. It is a common procedure. Periodontists will conduct x-rays first to see if the surgery is needed. Temporary crowns are used to prevent further damage, and until the final crown is completed. Once the final crown is completed it is then attached to the tooth. Side effects are bleeding or infection, teeth sensitivity, also the tooth may feel more loose.

Frenectomy

Frenum or frenulum are tissue in the body that connects and regulates movement in the organs. The mouth is divided into four separate frenums. At the top of the lip the frenulum labii superioris connects a person’s top lip to their top gums. If you stick the tongue straight up in front of the top teeth you will feel it. The frenulum lingua is underneath the tongue and connects it to the floor of the mouth. This won is hard to feel, but if you raise your tongue in the mirror you will see it. The frenulum labii inferioris is similar to the frenulum labii superioris, but connects the bottom lip to the bottom gums. If you stick your tongue in front of your bottom teeth you should feel it. The last frenum is the buccal frena, which connects a person’s cheeks to their gums around the mouth. Sometimes the frenulum labii superioris and the frenulum labii inferioris can cause movement of the front teeth or will push them apart. This is when frenectomies are used to remove or loosen this tissue and prevent shifting and problems of the teeth. This procedure is not needed for everyone so consult a dentist or orthodontist when planning your smile to see if they feel it is necessary.

Gum Lift

A gum lift is the same as crown lengthening but is usually used for more aesthetic and cosmetic purposes. This is where a periodontist will raise and shape the gum line for cosmetic purposes. This includes reshaping either/or the tissue and bone to reveal more of the teeth or to make them more symmetrical, and increasing the smile’s aesthetic value. Most often this is done when the gums take over a person’s smile, cause irregularities in the gum to teeth ratio of a person’s smile, or when some teeth have more gum covering than others. It is a common procedure. Periodontists will conduct x-rays first to see if the surgery is needed. Temporary crowns are used to prevent further damage, and until the final crown is completed. Once the final crown is completed it is then attached to the tooth. Side effects are bleeding or infection, teeth sensitivity, also the tooth may feel more loose. If a person feels they have a gummy smile or notices irregularities in their gum to teeth ratio across their smile they should consult a dentist, or more importantly a periodontist for more information on the next steps and options to fix their smile.

Soft Tissue Grafting

Soft Tissue Grafting or Gum Graft Surgery is used when the root of the teeth is exposed, causing a recession or raising of the gums. This surgery will fix the problem and may be used as a preventative measure to ensure no further gum recessions occur. Soft Tissue Grafts are also used to cover roots and/or create tissue where it is no longer there as a cause of the gum recession. In the procedure, a periodontist will take gum tissue from donors or from a patient’s mouth and use it to fix the problems, either the exposure of the root or the missing tissue. This process is done for multiple teeth or the entire gum line. This process helps to prevent future recession and loss of important bones. It also helps from further decay and damage. Overall, soft tissue grafts, improve a patient’s aesthetic value when it comes to their smile. It can cause tooth sensitivity. Like these other procedures, it is important to consult a professional and discuss options when planning a skin graft or other periodontics procedure.