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Gum & Jawbone Corrective Treatments

There are many reasons why the gums and jawbone may require corrective treatment, including periodontal disease, trauma and birth defects. Periodontal disease particularly, can greatly disfigure the natural appearance of the gums and teeth and give the smile an unaesthetic appearance.

New “cosmetic surgery” procedures are now available in periodontics, which effectively correct cosmetic problems and restore natural beauty to the smile.

Here are some of the most common gum and jawbone corrective treatments:

Common Gum Treatments

  • Crown lengthening (gum lift) – Crown lengthening is usually performed to correct a “gummy” smile, or to expose more of the tooth prior to a restorative surgery.  In some cases, the teeth look short and stubby and partly covered by gum tissue due to genetics or gingivitis.  Excess gum tissue can easily be removed to reshape the outline of the gums, expose the natural tooth length, and provide a fuller, more attractive smile.  The same procedure is also an excellent way to create a more aesthetic gumline for dental crowns and other restorative procedures.

  • Gum grafts – Gum grafts are generally performed to correct a crooked smile, or to restore symmetry to the gumline after periodontal disease has been treated.  Periodontal disease causes the gums to recede; making the smile look overly “toothy.”  During a gum graft, a thin strip of tissue is removed from the palate and stitched in place over the recession site.  Gum grafts are often used to re-contour the gum line and give the teeth a more pleasing appearance.

  • Pocket reduction surgery – Periodontal disease can cause the smile to be marred with unattractive teeth, brown gums and ridge indentations.  The aim of pocket reduction surgery is to clean the root surfaces of the teeth e subgingivally (beneath the gum line).  During this procedure, tartar, plaque and bacteria that are affecting the teeth and gums will be removed.  The gum is first gently separated away from the tooth, and then the calculus (tartar) and plaque are removed using special ultrasonic and hand instruments.  An antimicrobial liquid may be administered to the area to destroy bacteria colonies and ensure the pockets are given the chance to naturally heal.  Pocket reduction surgery is an effective way to restore health to the gums and bone.

Common Jawbone Treatments

  • Sinus augmentation – This procedure is usually performed prior to the placement of dental implants, to ensure that the prosthetic teeth are both functional and firmly affixed to the bone.  The success of an implant hinges on the quantity and quality of the jawbone to which it will be attached.  If the jawbone has receded or been injured, a sinus augmentation can slightly elevate the sinus floor to allow new bone to form.  Generally, a small incision is made in the bone and the underlying space is packed with grafting material.  The incision is sutured closed, and the implant will be placed when healing has occurred.

  • Ridge modification – Ridge modification procedures are used to treat deformities in the jawbone which have occurred due to periodontal disease, trauma or birth defects.  Birth defects particularly, can leave an unattractive indentation in the jaw, which makes placing dental implants difficult.  During the ridge modification procedure, the gum is gently pulled away from the bone to fully expose the defect.  The defect is filled with bone graft material or a similar synthetic product and then sutured closed.  When healing occurs, the cosmetic appearance of the jaw is much improved and implants can be successfully placed where necessary.

  • Bone grafts – There are a wide variety of reasons why a bone graft may be necessary.  Bone grafting thickens the jawbone to allow for the successful placement of implant anchors.  Bone grafts can also help elevate the sinus floor, fill craters or deformities in the jawbone itself, or allow for successful nerve repositioning.  The grafting material may be harvested from the lower jaw, the iliac section of the pelvis, or synthetically created.  In most cases, a small opening is made in the jawbone and packed with the bone graft material.  Sutures are placed and restorative treatments are performed when healing is complete.

If you have questions or concerns regarding Gum or Jawbone corrective treatments please ask your dentist.

Testimonials.

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Testimonials

I loved my experience at Dr. Lopez's office. 20 years ago I had several unsightly metal fillings put in my mouth. Also, I've worn my teeth down by grinding considerably over the years. As I grew older, my teeth did not look good to me when I smiled. In July of 2015, I wanted to have all of the metal fillings in my mouth removed, and one of the fillings in particular had already cracked the tooth that it filled. Initially, I was very nervous, but Dr. Lopez and his staff completely put me at ease from the time I walked in the door. The way he rebuilt the grinding damage on my back teeth is remarkable. He is not only a great dentist but a gifted architect and engineer at the same time. I didn't even feel the numbing shots at all, and I actually fell asleep in the chair during the procedure thanks to Dr. Lopez's relaxing demeanor and the calming music in the room. To my wife, I affectionately refer to him as Dr. Lopezzzzzz, now, since I did fall asleep. I would recommend Dr. Lopez to even my closest family. Thank you, again, Dr. Lopez.

Chase H

I went to Dr. Lopez to get veneers on eight teeth (upper, front). From my initial consultation to getting my temporary veneers put in today, I have been consistently impressed by his practice. The entire staff operate as a single, professional team. Extremely courteous, knowledgable, and accommodating, they do everything they can to help patients feel both comfortable and fully informed of everything that goes on during their visit.

My process with the veneers thus far has been extremely smooth and easy. Despite what you may read on the Internet from other people who have gotten veneers elsewhere, Dr. Lopez goes through great measures to ensure that your experience is pain and worry free. He is truly a master at his craft, and his vast experience in the dental profession (equally reflected in his accolades) definitely shows.

I have a check-up for the temporary veneers in the next couple of weeks, and the permanent veneers will arrive shortly thereafter. I have full confidence that the rest of this process will go just as well as it has so far, especially after my visit today. Highly recommend this office for your dental needs. 5/5 stars.

Jason H

I have never liked going to the dentist because of painful past experiences. Shots, rough cleanings, etc. On my first visit, I had a cleaning . There was no pain. I was impressed. And a recent event that required shots, and extractions had me concerned about pain, but Dr. Lopez reassured me not to worry. As he began the shots,NO PAIN AT ALL!!! I was more than impressed! I knew I had found my dentist. Dr. Lopez and his staff are kind, gentle, professional, and the atmosphere is very relaxed and pleasant! I am very pleased, and highly recommend him!!!

Robin T

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Dr. Juan R. Lopez
Phone: 580-536-9647
6941 West Gore Blvd.
Lawton, OK 73505