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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 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.

Read what people are saying about us.

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Testimonials

If you want to know what I think of Dr. Afzali and her staff all you really need to know is that I live in Portland and I fly to San Diego to see Dr. Afzali for all my dental work. That might seem a bit extreme, and perhaps it is, but hear me out before you decide. A couple of years ago when I was living in the Bay Area I had to have one of my front teeth removed and dental implant inserted in its place by a dentist in the Bay Area. The implant looked a little shorter and darker than my other teeth, and even made my gum above it look a bit darker than the adjacent gum. In short, it didn't look natural. So I wasn't completely satisfied with how my smile looked, but I thought that was the best that could be done. It wasn't.

Last summer while I was in San Diego visiting my parents I went to Dr. Afzali for a routine cleaning. She examined my mouth and immediately asked me whether I was happy with the way my implant looked. When I said I wasn't, she explained that she could make it look better and possibly even indistinguishable from my other teeth. She was right. My implant looks just like my other teeth, and my gum is pink again. In fact, my new implant looks so natural that I sometimes forget it's an implant. I couldn't be happier. One final point. Dr. Afazli's entire staff is great. When I walk in they all make me feel like I'm the most important patient they have. And Julie is particularly great. Because I live in Portland my visits to Dr. Afzali's office had to me perfectly timed with receipt of the various parts necessary for my procedures. Julie made sure that everything arrived when necessary, without fail, so that no flights or appointments had to be rescheduled.

Riley P.

Recently, while on a trip from Canada to visit friends in San Diego, I broke a tooth. I phoned RB Dentistry and was given an appointment without delay. Dr. Mary Afzali was reassuring and professional and did an excellent job fixing the broken tooth. Her dental assistant, Marinette, was kind and gentle and made me feel comfortable throughout the procedure. Julie at Reception was welcoming, warm and made me laugh with her wonderful sense of humour and handled the insurance processing with no complications. Thank you so much Dr. Afzali, Mari and Julie for one of the most pleasant dental appointments I've had in a long time! Hope to see you in Vancouver, B.C. sometime!

Pam C.

I know I am in good hands with Dr. Afzali at RB Family Dentistry. The cavity fillings and tooth root fillings I got there were done so well that when I went to the Southwest College Dental Hygenist school to help out a friend, they could barely even detect the fillings! The teachers there were very impressed. At RB Family Dentistry, the staff and hygenists are friendly, organized and very knowledgable, and the Dr. always gives me as much time as I need and answers all of my questions. The office is beautiful and state-of-the-art. They never try to sell me on additional products or services that I don't need.

Scripps Ranch M

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RB Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
16776 Bernardo Center Dr. #105 San Diego, CA 92128
Phone: (858) 485-0044 URL of Map