Dr. McLeod’s office provides the full scope of periodontal and dental implant surgery services. Below are descriptions of some commonly performed surgical procedures.
Crown Lengthening is a procedure in which “excess” gum tissue and bone are gently removed from the surface of the tooth. By uncovering a portion of the tooth that was previously buried below the gumline, the tooth becomes longer. This procedure can be used to expose tooth structure in badly decayed or fractured teeth so that your dentist is able to place a cap or crown on your tooth. This procedure can also be used to help correct a “gummy” smile so that short teeth are of a more appropriate and esthetically pleasing length.
A deep cleaning (scaling and root planing) is the traditional non-surgical method used to clean out and eliminate the deep infected pockets that form a result of periodontal disease. In advanced gum disease, however, pockets can become so deep that scaling and root planing alone cannot thoroughly remove the plaque and tartar (calculus) that accumulate below the gumline. In these instances surgical intervention is necessary. Osseous surgery involves lifting the gum tissue away from the teeth, removing all plaque and tartar and re-contouring the anatomy of the bone surrounding the teeth. The result is the elimination of the deep pockets and improving periodontal health.
Gingival recession is the loss of protective gum tissue over the surface of a tooth. This in turn results in exposed roots which can be sensitive to hot and cold, prone to decay and esthetically displeasing. Recession can also result in bone loss around the tooth which can lead to tooth loss. Soft tissue (gum) grafting involves placement of a small piece of tissue over the tooth root, which re-establishes the protective gum tissue covering and can prevent further bone loss, decrease sensitivity and improve esthetics.
A tooth may require extraction for several reasons including severe decay, fracture, impaction and periodontal disease. And tooth loss invariably results in bone loss. Atraumatic tooth extraction is absolutely essential to preserving as much bone and gum tissue as possible around the extracted tooth. Also critical is a ridge preservation procedure. Ridge preservation (or socket grafting) involves placing a bone graft and protective membrane into the extraction socket immediately after a tooth has been removed. This speeds up healing time, prevents much of the subsequent bone loss from occurring and facilitates future implant placement.
Periodontal disease results in the loss of bone and other supporting tissues around the teeth. Loss of support compromises the long term health of the teeth and when severe enough can even result in tooth loss. Tissue regeneration procedures involve using bone grafts and/or membranes to help rebuild the bone and other tooth supporting tissues that have been lost.
Dental implants are the ideal treatment to replace missing teeth because they most closely mimic the look, feel and function of your natural teeth. Dental implants consist of 1. a titanium post which is screwed into the jawbone that functions like the root of your tooth and 2. a crown which is cemented or screwed into the top of the implant. Dental implants can also be used to help retain dentures by means of small attachments that prevent the up-and-down and side-to-side movements dentures frequently exhibit.
Tooth loss invariably results in bone loss. The amount of bone loss that occurs can be dramatic enough that it prevents the placement of dental implants, which must be placed in solid bone. Ridge Augmentation and Sinus Lift procedures both involve adding bone grafts to the existing jawbone and underneath the maxillary sinus. This creates an increase in the volume of the bone (similar to what was present before the teeth were lost) and allows for the placement of dental implants.