Saving your natural teeth is always our top priority. However, you may need a tooth extraction if you have excessive tooth decay, infection, or crowding. When a tooth is visible above your gum line, tooth extraction is a relatively quick outpatient procedure with either local, general, and/or intravenous anesthesia. Teeth that are broken, below the surface, or impacted require a surgical extraction where gum tissue is removed to access the tooth. An x-ray and thorough examination of the affected tooth will help us determine whether your extraction will be simple or surgical.
The crown is the part of the tooth that is visible above the gumline. If a tooth is decayed, broken below the gum line, or has insufficient crown height, there may not be enough tooth structure available to accommodate restoration procedures, such as a crown or bridge. Crown lengthening is a simple surgical procedure where the position of the gum around a tooth is adjusted to expose more of the tooth structure. This procedure may be performed at your dental professional’s recommendation, or requested for esthetic purposes by the patient if they have a “gummy” smile.
In a healthy mouth, your bone and gum tissue should fit snugly around your teeth with a pocket depth of only 2 to 3 millimeters. Gum disease can increase the size of these pockets. When pockets progress to a depth of 5 millimeters or greater, they become too deep to clean either at home or with a professional hygienist’s help. Osseous surgery, also known as pocket reduction surgery, gets rid of bacteria living in pockets. During the procedure, a surgeon cuts back your gums, removes the bacteria, and
repairs damaged bone.
When a tooth is lost due to injury or extraction, a hole is left in the jaw. The gums can heal unevenly around the socket, leading to problems during restoration. Alveoloplasty is a surgical procedure used to re-contour the jawbone. Often, an alveoloplasty is needed before being fitted for dentures so that they can fit snuggly.
The vestibule is the space between the soft tissue (lips and cheeks) and the teeth and gums. Plaque can more easily accumulate in your mouth if you have a shallow vestibule, leading to problems such as gum inflammation, gum recession, and the development of pockets at the base of your teeth. If you have dentures, a shallow vestibule might also make it more difficult to hold the dentures in place comfortably. A vestibuloplasty deepens your oral vestibule to allow for more surface area and space for full dentures, partial dentures, or implants. Widening the area might also make it easier to maintain good hygiene around the replacement teeth.
Tori are extra bone deposits that have formed in your upper or lower jawbones. Though nothing to be fearful of, a torus can interfere with your dental appliances and impact your oral hygiene. The procedure for traditional surgical tori removal is like any other surgery. The patient receives general anesthesia, and the dentist uses a scalpel to access the bone and a drill to remove it. Though the surgery itself won’t be painful, tori removal can be a bit uncomfortable. However, after roughly a week, most of the pain from your tori removal should subside.
Frena are small folds or bands of tissue located in the mouth that attach one surface within the mouth to another. These bands are under the tongue, inside the upper lip, inside the lower lip, and between the cheeks and gums. Tongue ties and lip ties are common examples of frena that are shorter than average. Frena that are wider, longer, or shorter than average can limit tongue or lip mobility, cause difficulty with speech development, or create a gap between the two front teeth. A frenectomy is a simple surgical procedure that loosens or releases these bands.
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