When we think about improving our smile, we generally focus on our teeth. Are they straight enough? White enough? Your orthodontist and dentist can provide suggestions for these issues if they concern you. But there is another essential part of our smiles which should not be neglected: our gums.
You might know that periodontal dentistry is your best option for treating gum disease. We are also trained and skilled in cosmetic procedures which can make a remarkable difference in your smile and even improve your periodontal health.
- Crown Lengthening & Gum Contouring
People sometimes worry that their teeth are too short, or their smiles are too “gummy.” Problems like this can actually be caused by too much gum tissue. We can carefully remove or reshape excess gum tissue, and bone tissue if needed, to reveal more of your teeth. This process is known as “crown lengthening.” We then contour the remaining gum tissue for an attractive gumline that works together with your teeth and lips for a beautifully proportioned smile.
- Gum Grafts
On the other hand, sometimes recessive gums can lead to too much of the tooth being exposed. A gum graft, where graft tissue is carefully positioned to restore the receding gum, can both improve the appearance of a smile and protect the exposed root area from damage or decay.
- Bone Grafts
When you lose a tooth, it is important to decide on a treatment plan early. The longer a tooth is missing, the more likely that the bone and tissue beneath it will start to recede. Without the necessary bone density and area, an implant cannot be performed. If gum disease has caused bone loss, it can endanger the health of the teeth nearby. If you have lost bone due to a missing tooth, infection, trauma or gum disease, talk to us about bone grafting, to restore your bone now and prevent future bone loss.
- Dental Implants
Dental implants make your smile complete again, which is certainly an aesthetic improvement, but is also important for the health of your remaining teeth and jaw. We are trained not only to place the implant in the jaw, but to analyze bone health first for the most successful implant outcome.
You are already on your way to your best possible smile. And just as you’re committed to working with your regular dentist for checkups and cleaning, and working with your orthodontist if you see the need for alignment and bite improvements, there are some cosmetic areas where a periodontist is uniquely qualified to help. If you are concerned about the appearance or health of your gums and the bones beneath them, call our San Mateo, CA office! Dr. Pope, Dr. Pickering, and Dr. Lewis can answer any questions you may have and provide suggestions for making sure your gums and the supporting structures around your teeth are not only their healthiest, but a beautiful addition to your best, most confident smile.