Many of our patients come into the office and feel that something is not right about their smile. While there can be a variety of reasons for this, one of the most common issues that we see and address are gums that have been receding. Gum recession is when the gums pull away from the tooth and begin to expose the root.
This can be an issue, not only for your appearance but also for your overall dental health. There are a variety of different options for patients with receding gums, and Ironwood Dental has the expertise to make sure that you get the results you want.
The Pinhole Technique
The pinhole surgical technique is a great option for many of our patients. Rather than cutting the entire gumline open, the pinhole technique makes only a small “pinhole” to insert dental tools. The quadrant of the gums that are going to be worked on are treated with a local anesthetic. The teeth are cleaned and prepared to ensure a good gum attachment point.
Once the gums are numbed, a small angled dental instrument is inserted into the gums, and strips of collagen or gum graft material are inserted and strategically placed around the gums. The inserted material helps to give the gums the proper shape and holds them in place while your gums naturally heal back onto the teeth.
This restores the gumline to the proper height and improves your dental health! The pinhole technique can typically be completed in a single session, meaning you don’t have to come back for multiple appointments.
The LANAP Procedure
The LANAP, or Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure, is another one of the approaches that Ironwood Dental uses to help restore our patients' gums. The traditional gum restoration approach used hand tools to cut away damaged or diseased gum tissue before it was reattached to the teeth.
However, this approach was only as consistent as your dentist’s hand and often resulted in the excess removal of tissue, including healthy tissue. the LANAP procedure utilizes a laser that can specifically target unhealthy gum tissue and remove it without damaging the healthy gum tissue. This approach allows for a faster recovery for patients and helps to save as much existing gum tissue as possible.
The LANAP procedure typically takes patients two visits, and half of the mouth is treated at each appointment. The laser, which is about as thick as three human hairs, is inserted between the teeth and gums and removes the infection and disease from the gums. The tooth roots and surface are cleaned and prepared for attachment, and then the pocket is sealed with the laser to create a firm seal against the clean tooth surface. The gums are then allowed to heal and naturally attach to the teeth at the proper height.
Periodontal therapy is a category of dental work that includes a variety of different approaches that are tailored to each patient’s needs. Periodontal therapy often includes the manual planing and scaling of the teeth, gum grafting, or laser surgeries.
Planing and root scaling are commonly completed for patients who have some degree of periodontal disease. This process helps to remove all of the plaque and tartar from the roots of the teeth. These foreign substances don’t allow the gums to naturally attach to the teeth and can harbor bacteria and disease.
Gum grafting adds more gum tissue to specific areas that increase the overall height of your gums. This process is often completed in addition to planing and scaling the roots of the teeth.
If you are interested in gum restoration, call Ironwood Dental today to schedule a consultation. Our professional and friendly staff have the tools to help your smile fit your life!