The main function of a bone graft is that, over a period of time, the jawbone associated with missing teeth atrophies or is reabsorbed. This often leaves a condition in which there is poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for the placement of dental implants or for properly fitting dentures.
A bone graft is a procedure that replaces missing bone with material from the patient’s own body or an artificial, synthetic, or natural substitute. The graft not only replaces missing bone, it can preserve, and in some cases, reverse bone loss. Over time, this new growth then strengthens the area by forming a bridge between your existing bone and the grafted material.
Bone grafts and implants give patients the opportunity to replace missing teeth, to gain back their confidence and restore esthetic appearance and functionality.
A crown lengthening procedure is done for restorative dentistry and also to improve the aesthetics of one’s smile. Prior to restoration, if a tooth is broken or severely decayed, this procedure may be needed to adjust the gum and bone level in order for the area to be properly restored.
Crown lengthening is been done with the benefit of laser therapy. The laser creates a more precise treatment that results in faster healing, minimal bleeding and discomfort. In most cases, the patient can return to work the same day.
Sometimes crown lengthening is done to improve a “gummy” smile because the teeth appear short. The teeth may actually be the proper length but excess gum tissue may be covering these teeth. During this procedure, excess gum tissue is reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth.
In recent years, crown lengthening has been done with the benefit of laser therapy. The laser creates a more precise treatment that results in faster healing, minimal bleeding and discomfort. In most cases, the patient can return to work the same day.
A dental extraction is the removal of a tooth from the mouth. Extractions are performed for a wide variety of reasons, including tooth decay, that has destroyed enough tooth structure to render the tooth non-restorable. Extractions of impacted or problematic teeth wisdom teeth are routinely performed, as are extractions of some permanent teeth to make space for orthodontic treatment. The most common reason for an extraction is tooth damage, due to breakage or decay and teeth that are periodontally compromised. This is when the bone and supporting structures around a tooth have been damaged so severely by the disease process that the tooth is no longer stable and able to function properly in the mouth.
A wisdom tooth is often extracted to correct an actual problem or to prevent a problem that may come up in the future. When wisdom teeth are starting to erupt, a number of problems can occur: your jaw may not be large enough to accommodate them and they may become impacted and unable to break through your gums. Your wisdom teeth may also break partway through your gums, causing a flap of gum tissue to grow over them. Food and germs can become trapped under the flap and cause your gums to become red, swollen, and painful – these are the signs of an infection. More serious problems can develop from impacted teeth, such as damage to other teeth and bone, or the development of a cyst.
An extraction begins with local anesthetic being placed to numb the tooth and the surrounding area. Once the tooth is completely anesthetized, the doctor will “wiggle” the tooth in the socket to break the fibrous bonds that hold the tooth to the bone. When the tooth is sufficiently loose, the doctor will use a tool that elevates the tooth out of alignment. Sometimes that will cause the tooth to come out immediately. Often, the doctor will then use the forceps to “grab” the tooth and wiggle it out the rest of the way. Occasionally, if a tooth is more attached to the bone or the roots are misaligned to not allow easy extraction, the doctor will use a drill to cut the tooth into sections. This allows for easier access and less traumatic removal of the tooth.
Extractions are very much about technique and leverage. Our doctors are all taught the latest techniques and have all the equipment needed to look after most extractions. Specific, complicated extractions are often referred to one of the great oral surgeons in the area, if needed. Talk to your dentist about your specific case and the best options for you.
Grinding your teeth can damage enamel, wear down teeth, cause tooth sensitivity and jaw pain. Studies have shown that grinding can be associated with sleep apnea – a serious medical condition. The noise from teeth grinding and snoring can also disturb your spouse’s sleep if loud enough. Always consult with a dental professional if there are any questions or concerns.
If you clench or grind your teeth you should consider a night guard. This device, which is very similar to a mouth guard worn by athletes, provides a barrier between your top and bottom teeth while you sleep. All night guards are custom-fitted for comfort and to allow proper breathing. Your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and have the night guard created by a dental lab. Night guards are very durable and can be used for up to 10 years.
There are also some things that you can do to try to consciously stop teeth grinding. Awareness of the problem can help to identify the times and situations that cause you to grind. Refrain from chewing gum or on other objects like pens. Studies show that you should also avoid drinks with caffeine, as these can increase the likelihood of you grinding your teeth. If you suspect you might be grinding your teeth at night, set up an appointment with us today.
A mouth guard should be a top priority in your child’s list of sport equipment. A vacuum-formed custom-fitted mouth guard from our office is your child’s most comfortable and best protection against sports-related injuries.
We’d be happy to prepare a custom sports guard to protect your child.
A soft tissue graft is used when there has been a significant amount of gum recession in a particular area. When gums are healthy, they fit snug against the teeth, completely covering the roots. Sometimes, as a result of periodontal disease, toothbrush abrasion or uneven bite, the gums pull away from the teeth, exposing some of the root surface. In addition, gum recession often results in root sensitivity to hot and cold foods as well as an unsightly appearance of the tooth. A gingival graft is designed to solve these problems.
First, we make sure that your gums are thoroughly numb so that you remain comfortable throughout the procedure. Then we take the graft from the donor site on the palate. In some case, the donor site is left to heal on its own, but in other cases, we may need to use a dressing.
To place the graft, we must first gently separate the gums from the teeth. This creates a flap and gives us access to the area. We then carefully remove any plaque and tartar from the root surfaces. Finally, the graft is strategically placed and carefully stitched into place.