Implant Dentistry is the most natural and effective treatment option for tooth loss. Dentures are made from foreign materials that cause irritation to gum tissue; implants are made from titanium, which is naturally compatible with the body. This makes Implants the superior choice for replacing teeth. Once the implants have been placed, they become fused with the bone and act as natural tooth roots. Dental implants are the perfect choice for a permanent solution to the loss of a tooth, and look and function just like your natural teeth!
Healthy gums enhance the appearance of your teeth. When your gums become unhealthy, they can either recede or become swollen and red. Periodontal diseases, or infections of the gums, gradually destroy the bony support of your natural teeth. Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease in genetically-susceptible individuals. Bacteria found in plaque produce toxins or poisons that irritate the gums. They may cause them to turn red, swell, and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth causing pockets (spaces) to form. Plaque can also harden into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar). This can occur both above and below the gum line.
A gum graft is a surgery that a Dr. West might perform if your gums are receding from your teeth. At this point, you would be able to see the root of the tooth because the gum is no longer covering all of it. Having this surgery can stop the recession from continuing; it can also help prevent you from losing some of the bone and losing the tooth, as well as prevent decay. This surgery offers numerous benefits, which include protecting your mouth health, taking care of sensitivity in the tooth and helping you eat comfortably. You also might choose to have this procedure for cosmetic reasons so you can feel positive about your smile.
Crown lengthening is usually performed to correct a gummy smile. In some cases, the teeth look short and stubby and partly covered by gum tissue due to either genetics or gingivitis. Dr. West will perform this procedure to expose more of the patient’s teeth. During this procedure, the excess gum tissue is removed to reshape the outline of the gums. The tooth is then more exposed creating a fuller, more attractive smile. The same procedure can also be done to create a more space for dental crowns and other restorative procedures.
Sinus lift is usually performed prior to the placement of dental implants. The success of an implant is highly dependent on the quantity and quality of the jawbone to which it will be attached. If the jawbone has receded, a sinus lift can slightly elevate the sinus floor to allow new bone to form. Dr. West will make a small incision and pack the underlying space with grafting material. The incision is sutured closed, and the implant will be placed once healing has occurred.
Teeth are held in place by surrounding gums, bone, and other tissues. But periodontal disease can cause the bone to break down. Certain techniques called regenerative procedures can be used to stimulate growth of new bone. This growth increases the height of the bone around the tooth, giving the tooth more support, and increases the amount of attachment around the root of the tooth. Getting back even half the lost bone height extends the life of the tooth. One type of regenerative procedure is called guided tissue regeneration (GTR).
Based on the thickness of the bone surrounding a tooth planned for extraction or the type of extraction planned (surgical v/s simple), a bone allograft may be needed to preserve the proper shape and dimension of the resulting socket to allow the subsequent implant to be placed at an advantageous position and angle for optimal restoration and implant placement.
Ridge augmentation is an effective procedure for treating deformities in the upper and lower jaws. These deformities can occur as a result of periodontal disease, trauma, injury, wearing dentures, or developmental problems. Such defects can leave insufficient bone for the placement of dental implants and an additional unattractive indentation in the jaw line adjacent to the missing teeth. During this procedure, Dr. West will lift the gum away from the ridge to fully expose the defect in the bone. The bony defect can be filled with bone graft material that can help regenerate lost bone or a bone substitute. Ridge augmentation improves the cosmetic appearance, functionality of the mouth, and the chance of enjoying dental implants for many years.
Bone grafting thickens the jawbone to allow for the successful placement of dental implants. Dental bone grafting can also help elevate the sinus floor, fill craters in the jawbone, and restore lost bone around teeth from periodontal disease. The grafting material may be harvested from the patient himself, or artificial bone may be used. In most cases, a small opening is made in the jawbone and then packed with the bone grafting material. Sutures are placed, and restorative treatments are performed once healing is complete.
In order to preserve the health of the gum tissue, the bacteria and calculus (tartar) which initially caused the infection, must be removed. The gum pockets will be cleaned and treated with antibiotics as necessary to help alleviate the infection. Dr. West may prescribe a mouthwash to be incorporated into daily cleaning routines.
A frenum is a fold of tissue or muscle connecting the lips, cheek or tongue to the jawbone. The most common places to find frenums are at the midline between the front top teeth, the bottom front teeth or connecting the tongue to the lower jawbone. A frenectomy is the removal of one of these folds of tissue. Sometimes a frenum can be attached too close to the teeth on the gums causing either recession or spaces between teeth. The frenectomy procedure involves the removal of the tissue attachment between the teeth.
A gingivectomy is a periodontal surgery performed to treat severe cases of gum disease, also known as periodontitis, that do not respond to antibiotics or root planing alone. This procedure is necessary when the gums have pulled away from the teeth, creating deep pockets. Plaque and tartar often form in these pockets, causing gum disease. If the disease is left untreated, it progresses to the point that it damages the roots of the teeth and potentially leads to tooth loss. The gingivectomy procedure is designed to remove loose or diseased gum tissue in order to prevent tooth loss.
In cases where the eyeteeth will not erupt spontaneously, Dr. West and the Orthodontist work together to get these unerupted eyeteeth to erupt. The most common scenario calls for the orthodontist to place braces on the teeth (at least the upper arch). A space will be opened to provide room for the impacted tooth to be moved into its proper position in the dental arch. If the baby eyetooth has not fallen out already, it is usually left in place until the space for the adult eyetooth is ready. Once the space is ready, the orthodontist will refer the patient to Dr. West to have the impacted eyetooth exposed and bracketed. Our 3D conebeam CT machine helps us identify exactly where the tooth is so that the proper procedure is performed, ensuring that the tooth is surrounded by healthy bone and gum.
Osseous surgery is recommended when the bone supporting your teeth has been destroyed. Dr. West performs this procedure to eliminate gum pockets by trimming away the infected gum tissue and diseased bone. The result is a healthier environment that promotes long term maintenance and arrests the progression of periodontal disease. Osseous surgery is performed to gain access to the diseased root and bone area, remove bacteria and infected gums, reduce pocketing and set the stage for periodontal health. The gum and jawbone are reshaped so that the gum tissue can adhere strongly to your teeth, allowing both you and your dental professionals to more effectively and completely remove plaque. During the procedure the pockets are reduced or eliminated by moving the gum closer to the bone.
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