7905 Main Road
Mattituck, NY 11952
(631) 886-4169

Cosmetic Dentist in Mattituck

Our Periodontal Services

Periodontal disease damages the surrounding soft tissues and bone that support the teeth. It is predominantly caused by the accumulation of bacteria, mucus and other particles in the form of plaque or tartar that sit between the teeth and the gums. Periodontal disease can range in severity from a simple gum inflammation, known as gingivitis, to a more serious inflammation of the periodontal tissues. Left untreated periodontal disease can result in significant tissue damage and eventual tooth loss.

The problem with periodontal disease is that often the progression is painless. As a result the affected individual may not be aware of an ongoing disease process. This is why it is so important to recognize the signs of the earliest stage of periodontal disease, which is gingivitis. The symptoms of gingivitis typically include red, swollen and bleeding gums. Treatment instituted at this point is often sufficient to reverse the course of the disease and to avoid any permanent damage to the periodontal tissues. A series of deep dental cleanings, an improved home care regimen, and a commitment to regular maintenance may be all that is required to prevent this stage of periodontal disease from progressing.

Left untreated, gingivitis can escalate into periodontitis. However, there are other factors that can contribute to the escalation of periodontal disease, including smoking, genetic tendencies, and unchecked diabetes. In either case, when periodontal disease has progressed to a more advanced stage there is usually clinical and radiographic evidence of damage to the bone and soft tissues supporting the teeth. Periodontal treatment in this phase is designed to halt the progression of the disease and to restore tooth support as possible. This may involve medications to control the bacteria and reduce the size of the pockets between the teeth and gums, gum surgery, as well as bone and tissue grafts.

All-on-4®

This remarkable technique requires only 4 implants in either the upper or lower jaw to support all the replacement teeth for that dental arch. All-on-4®* typically involves only one surgery to place all the implants, avoids the need for additional bone grafting procedures, and provides the instant gratification of receiving a full set of temporary teeth immediately on the same day as the initial procedure. As a permanent fixed replacement for all the teeth, the All-on-4 dental implant technique achieves unprecedented results with a minimal number of dental implants and surgical procedures, thereby making it an appealing cost-effective solution for permanently replacing a full set of teeth. Once post-surgical healing is complete and the All-on-4 dental implants have fully integrated with your jawbone, the temporary bridge is permanently replaced by your customized final bridge. These new permanent replacement teeth are completely secure and stable and function in a similar fashion as natural teeth.

*All-on-4 is a registered trademark of Nobel Biocare

Bone Grafts

Bone loss in the jaws and around the teeth can be the result of missing teeth, periodontal disease, or trauma. This bone loss is more than a detriment to oral health and function; it can also alter facial appearance as the support for the natural contours of the face is diminished.

When a tooth is extracted, the natural stimulation to the underlying bone that is generated by the forces of biting or chewing is lost. In fact, bone width can be reduced by as much as 25% in the first year following tooth loss.

With grafting procedures, the dental bone can be restored to its original dimensions to maintain facial esthetics, repair the damage caused by periodontal disease as well as facilitate the success of procedures such as the placement of dental implants. A bone graft provides a platform or “scaffolding” for new bone growth and the material for a bone graft can be derived from the patient, other donor sources or be comprised of synthetic, bone-like materials.

There are several types of grafting procedures that can be performed with the particular approach depending upon the needs of the case.

A bone graft can be placed immediately upon the extraction of a tooth or some time after tooth loss. Placing a bone graft at the time of tooth removal reduces the amount of bone loss in the area to maintain the hard tissue support that is required for the future placement of a dental implant. When a bone graft is placed awhile after tooth loss, a separate surgical procedure is required to reflect the soft tissue, expose the underlying bone, place a graft and then suture the soft tissue back into place.

For patients lacking a sufficient amount of bone for a dental implant to replace a maxillary back tooth (upper back tooth), a procedure known as a “sinus lift” may be performed. During this surgical procedure, the sinus membrane is lifted and bone graft material is added between the jaw and the floor of the sinus to provide the needed bone height to successfully support a dental implant.

In addition to bone grafting for purposes of ridge preservation or augmentation to allow for dental implants, an aesthetic ridge augmentation procedure to restore the natural contours of the bone is sometimes performed in preparation for fixed bridgework to achieve a more cosmetically pleasing result.

To guide tissue regeneration as well as protect the graft and promote healing, special membranes and biologically active materials may be placed over the grafting material.

Crown Lengthening

A crown lengthening is a common procedure that is routinely performed to re-contour gum tissue and bone as needed around with the intent of making more tooth structure available for the placement of a dental crown or dental bridge. This is often the case when a tooth is decayed or otherwise damaged below the gum line.

Alternatively, a crown lengthening procedure can also be performed for reasons that are purely aesthetic to reduce the appearance of a “gummy smile” when too much of the gums and far too little tooth structure is displayed when smiling. It can be performed on a single tooth to make the gum line appear even with the other teeth or on several teeth to improve a smile’s overall appearance.

Implant Dentistry

Losing a tooth due to injury, dental decay, or gum disease can happen. However, in order to avoid causing problems for the adjacent teeth and your overall dental health, it is important to replace the tooth that has been lost. This can be done a number of ways including fixed bridges, removable partial or full dentures as well as a more recent procedure known as dental implants.

One of the most significant dental innovations in recent times, an implant is a small surgical fixture made of biocompatible metal or ceramic materials that is placed into the jawbone and functions in the same manner as the root of a tooth. In the same way that natural root supports the natural crown of your tooth, an implant once it fully integrates with the surrounding bone, provides a stable and durable foundation for a replacement tooth. Implants often support a crown for an individual tooth, but can also be used as abutment teeth for a dental bridge, or strategically placed to help stabilize a denture.

Out of all of the restorative choices available today an implant comes the closest to replicating the look, feel and function of a natural tooth. Furthermore, it is the only method of tooth replacement that does not require the involvement or preparation of the adjacent teeth. A dental implant also stimulates bone remodeling to prevent shrinkage in areas where teeth are missing and helps to restore facial contours in areas where significant bone loss has occurred.

Periodontal Surgery

When gum disease has advanced beyond the initial stage, periodontal surgery is often recommended to effectively remove bacteria and tartar from around the teeth, reduce gingival pocket depth, restore lost tissue as possible and halt the disease process. Untreated gum disease is a progressive condition, which will continue to compromise the appearance of one’s smile, dental health, oral function and overall well being if the appropriate measures are not taken.

With proper surgical treatment and maintenance care, the chances of tooth loss, further damage to the bone and soft tissues supporting the teeth, and complications from health problems that are linked to periodontal disease can be decreased.

Gum disease is typically the result of inadequate or ineffective oral hygiene practices that lead to the accumulation of dental plaque, which is sticky film that is colonized by oral bacteria. The harmful bacteria and the products they produce provoke a defensive, inflammatory response in the gums. When this inflammation is not resolved, tissue damage ensues and spaces between the gums and teeth that are known as periodontal pockets develop. As the periodontal pockets deepen, the bacteria become more difficult to remove and the gaps between the surface of the teeth and gums get larger. When pocket depth increases to the point of being beyond the reach of deep cleanings and other conservative methods of care (5mm or more), gum surgery to clean and treat the damage to gums and underlying bone is recommended.

By performing pocket reduction surgery the following is accomplished:

  • Sub-gingival bacteria beneath the gums and from the surfaces of the roots of the teeth is removed
  • Damage to the underlying bone is halted and affected bone is re-contoured
  • Effective oral hygiene to clean the teeth and gums is made easier

While a surgical procedure known as flap surgery during which the tissue is surgically reflected away from the teeth and bone so that the area can be treated before the tissue is sutured back into place, is typically performed, some practitioners are now using soft tissue laser procedures to reduce pocket depth.

Ridge Augmentation

The bone that surrounds the roots of the teeth is referred to as the alveolar ridge. A ridge augmentation is a surgical procedure performed to restore the normal height and width of the alveolar ridge that may have been diminished as result of having a tooth removed or for other reasons like denture wear or trauma. The main considerations when a reduced and narrowed alveolar ridge is present are how this lost tissue will affect the placement of a dental implant or other dental prosthesis.

A ridge augmentation procedure is performed by placing bone graft material into the tooth socket immediately after a tooth has been removed, or where there are deficient areas, as a means to rebuild the shape of the gums and jaw. While in certain situations dental implants can be placed at the time of a ridge augmentation procedure, they are more often placed after sufficient healing has occurred and the bone graft has successfully fused with the existing bone and new bone has formed. Bone graft materials can be collected from another area of the body, harvested from other natural sources, or can be made of synthetic materials. The choice depends upon the specific needs of the case.

Scaling & Root Planing (Deep Cleaning)

By performing a deep cleaning, which is also known as a scaling and root planing, your dentist and dental hygienist can remove any excessive buildup of plaque and tartar that has accumulated around your teeth in the area below the gumline. The goal of this procedure is to treat periodontal disease by eliminating inflammation and reducing the size of pockets between the teeth and gums. While a dental scaling is intended to carefully eliminate any accumulated deposits on the surface of the tooth below the gumline, a root planing goes deeper to smooth the surface of the root so that the gums can properly reattach and heal.

The dentist will determine how many visits your scaling and root planing will require and how many sections of your mouth will be addressed at each appointment. Deep cleanings coupled with an excellent regimen of oral hygiene at home can be effective in restoring your periodontal health. If the tissues do not respond to this intervention, additional procedures including periodontal surgery will be considered.

Soft Tissue Grafts or “Gum Grafts”

In addition to the development of pockets and bone loss, periodontal disease can cause the gums to recede, thereby exposing the roots of the teeth. When the root of a tooth loses its overlying soft tissue, it becomes more vulnerable to decay, sensitivity and additional bone loss. Gum recession also takes a toll on smile aesthetics. Having front teeth affected by this problem can make a broad smile less aesthetically appealing as uncovered root structure is displayed. While gum recession is often a consequence of gum disease, aggressive tooth brushing and other habits can also wear away gum tissue.

By performing a gum graft procedure, which is also known as a “gingival graft or soft tissue graft,” the dentist replaces the soft tissue over the exposed area of the tooth to address the problems created by receding gums. Gum tissue for grafting procedures can be harvested from a nearby site in the mouth or obtained from another donor source. A gum graft may be performed on a single tooth or multiple ones. And, based upon the needs of the case, the dentist will determine which type of gum graft to employ.

The three types of gum grafts include the following:

  • Free gingival graft-This graft utilizes a small piece of tissue that is taken from the palate. It is often indicated when extra thick tissue is needed to prevent further recession.
  • Connective tissue graft- This frequently used graft is harvested from a sub-layer of connective tissue located under the uppermost tissue layer on the roof of the mouth.
  • Pedicle graft-This type of graft is created from a flap of tissue that is adjacent to the area of the gum recession.

Following a gum graft procedure, the dentist will provide detailed post-operative care instructions as well as set up appointments to make sure the surgical site is healing properly and to check that the graft is successful.

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