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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.

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Testimonials

I WISH I COULD GIVE YOU 10 STARS!!!!
Omg!!! SOOOOO happy I found you!!!
I've had these 4 veneers on my front teeth for about 5 years, put on, again, and again and again, after pop offs and cracks and breaks, and several thousands of dollars, by another Santee dentist's office (won't mention who).
After about 4 years of miraculously no problems, I felt a familiar crunch while biting into a fish taco... I was so upset, I just froze staring at this tiny piece of porcelain in my hand. The tears starting welling up as I was reminded of the nightmares I often have of this exact thing happening on a date, or during a job interview... I knew I wouldn't be able to enjoy the rest of my mom's birthday lunch w my daughters, and luckily, I decided to drive myself. I held back the tears, apologized and asked that they wrap up the rest of my meal and I'll see you at home, and ran to my car, wanting to just vomit.... I'm not too vain, am I?
Not just for vanities sake, but the thought of coming up with another 2 grand to fix this, again, was taunting me! My head was spinning. I felt like I had been kicked in the jaw - literally.
First thing I did, after having a few glasses of wine to calm down, was do a search on Yelp. Dr. Fossett was the first to come up -- but still wanted to give my old office a chance, seeing as especially how They WERE THE ONES WHO PUT THE ORIGINALS ON. But, they offered no rest for my weary soul -- no discounts, no deals and no financing. And a replacement will cost @2000!!
I called Dr. Fossetts office next and was enchanted by Robyn, who understood my plight and offered all the help she could; gave me a rough estimate on cost (final cost was LESS than what she quoted!), and applied for Care Credit for me over the phone.
I could go on and on about how my appointment went -- didn't even have to sit or wait, was brought back for a consultation immediately. Not expecting to have everything even started the same day, the assistant and Dr. Dave came back in two minutes and said, let's get started!
Not more than 30 minutes later, I looked in the mirror to the most gorgeous "Temporary" veneer I have ever seen!! I mean, I'd be happy w this for years! The last office would spackle on this horrible looking crap that had no esthetically pleasing value at all!! THIS is a premier job!
And I'm a chronic perfectionist! Especially when it comes to my looks (hair, teeth, ect).
SO IF IM HAPPY, YOU BETTER KNOW THE JOB WAS STELLAR!!!
Thank you Dr. Fossett and staff-- THANK YOU!!!

Vanessa M.

Yesterday was my first visit to this wonderful Dental office. I haven't felt more welcome and comfortable in a Dental facility since I was 19... Now 31 years young. I grew up, going to a father/son dental group and Dr. David and Dr. Douglas Fossett had the same family centered vibe and conservative but smart dental care I've been searching for! As a Registered Nurse, quality care and patient centered care is the core of my own practice. Dr. David and Dr. Douglas exemplify this to a tee! I've finally found my go to family Dental office. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders after getting a second option from these very well informed Dentists!

Haylee R.

Great office!!! From the moment I walked in I felt very welcomed by the staff. I'm always nervous when going to the dentist no matter how many times I go, however after my visit to Dr. Fossett's office I felt much more relaxed and at ease. They did everything they could to make me comfortable. I felt the staff was very knowledgeable and answered any questions I had. The assistants are top notch . The smiles , kind hearts and exceptional service will keep me coming back. Thank you to the office for a positive experience.

Rachel Y.

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