Periodontal Plastic Surgery Procedures

Esthetic Crown Lengthening to treat a “Gummy Smile

Esthetic crown lengthening involves removing or reshaping the gum and underlying structures to create a new gum line. This can result in a proportional and more esthetic smile. Virtually any look that is desired can be achieved with this surgical art form. Dr. Ward works in close contact with your dentist for a customized approach.

Soft Tissue Grafting (Gum grafting, Connective Tissue Grafting)

Gum recession is a very common periodontal concern. It can be caused by aggressive toothbrush/flossing or other trauma, tooth position, periodontal disease and/or “thin” gums. When recession is noted it is critical to realize that not only has the thick/protective gum been lost, but so has the underlying bone. If recession continues then additional supporting bone will be lost resulting in possible root sensitivity, mobility or even tooth loss. Soft tissue grafting uses tissue to cover an exposed root surface and/or increase the amount of thick gum that you have. A pouch is made at the site of recession under local anesthesia and donor or your own tissue is transferred to the pouch. The “new” gum tissue is then sutured in place. There are generally options for using your own tissue or donor tissue. Dr. Ward can discuss which option is best suited for your situation. The surgical process takes about 20 minutes per tooth. Two or three teeth in a row can be treated in about the same amount of time. Typical follow-up occurs at one week, one month and two months after treatment. Dr. Ward may recommend yearly recession checks if you have generally “thin” tissues, have many recessions or are diagnosed with recession at a young age.