Surgical Procedures

If you're diagnosed with periodontal disease, Dr. Moe may recommend periodontal surgery. Periodontal surgery will only be pursued if it is determined that the tissue around your teeth is unhealthy and cannot be repaired with non-surgical treatment. Following are the five types of surgical treatments most commonly prescribed:

  • Crown Lengthening: You may have asked your periodontist about procedures to improve a "gummy" smile because your teeth appear short. Your teeth may actually be the proper lengths, but they're covered with too much gum tissue. To correct this, your periodontist performs crown lengthening. During this procedure, excess gum and bone tissue is reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth. This can be done to one tooth, to even your gum line, or to several teeth to expose a natural, broad smile.
    Your dentist or periodontist may also recommend crown lengthening to make a restorative or cosmetic dental procedure possible. Perhaps your tooth is decayed, broken below the gum line, or has insufficient tooth structure for a restoration, such as a crown or bridge. Crown lengthening adjusts the gum and bone level to expose more of the tooth so it can be restored.

  • Pocket Reduction Procedures (Osseous Surgery): A pocket reduction procedure has been recommended because you have pockets that are too deep to clean with daily at-home oral hygiene and a professional care routine. During this procedure, your periodontist folds back the gum tissue and removes the disease-causing bacteria before securing the tissue into place. In some cases, irregular surfaces of the damaged bone are smoothed to limit areas where disease-causing bacteria can hide. This allows the gum tissue to better reattach to healthy bone.

  • Regenerative Procedures: Your periodontist may recommend a regenerative procedure when the bone supporting your teeth has been destroyed. These procedures can reverse some of the damage by regenerating lost bone and tissue. During this procedure, your periodontist folds back the gum tissue and removes the disease-causing bacteria. Membranes (filters), bone grafts or tissue-stimulating proteins can be used to encourage your body's natural ability to regenerate bone and tissue.

  • Soft Tissue Grafts: Soft tissue grafts can be used to cover roots or develop gum tissue where absent due to excessive gingival recession. During this procedure, your periodontist takes gum tissue from your palate or another donor source to cover the exposed root. This can be done for one tooth or several teeth to even your gum line and reduce sensitivity.

  • Gum Contouring: For many people a full smile with bright white teeth is not possible. They show small teeth with a lot of red gums. They frequently think that they have short teeth or that their gums have grown over their teeth. In their own minds, they see their smile as a GUMMY SMILE and don't know that something can be done to give them a fuller, more cosmetically pleasing smile. Gum Contouring can not only red and swollen looking gums but also the disproportionate size relationship between your teeth and gums that make your teeth appear too short or too small.