Gum recession often happens in areas where there is inadequate gum, which often results in an “exposed” root. This root is often sensitive to cold and dental cleaning. An exposed root is a root that is not protected by the enamel and conducts painful stimuli to the nerve of the tooth. The root often is darker in color and notched at the gum line. Exposed roots have more risk for decay and without treatment, the root can become even more exposed. Dr. Bjornson uses gum grafting to protect the root as well as to provide stronger gum support. The donor gum is obtained from a tissue bank or from the patient. Better root protection, less sensitivity, improved appearance and ease of cleaning are the goals of this procedure.
Laser Periodontal Therapy
Dr. Bjornson is one of a few periodontists that use the newest technology to treat periodontal disease without using a scalpel or sutures. This technique uses a Nd-Yag laser, PerioLaseR, to treat with a non-invasive approach. Patients reluctant to accept surgery and the associated discomfort are very surprised by the ease of treatment and lack of post-treatment pain.
With this technique, a tiny fiber, the thickness of three human hairs, is gently placed between the gums and the tooth. The energy from the light removes the diseased tissue and leaves the healthy tissue unharmed. The laser also reduces the bacteria that comes with the infection. After the area is cleaned with ultrasonic scalers, small instruments, and disinfecting rinses, the body can heal naturally.
The cost of the laser is no more expensive than traditional surgery which can be an advantage. Factors such as the severity of the infection and teeth involved will determine the cost and time involved for laser treatment.
This is a surgical procedure that involves surgical reflection of the gums to access the infection and affected bone. The outcome is to eliminate the deep pockets that form around the teeth due to bacterial growth below the gum line. In some instances, bone can be grafted if extra support is needed. Dr. Bjornson uses specific proteins, or Growth Factors, to stimulate the bone to heal. The recommendation for your treatment will be discussed as well as the safety and efficacy of the materials.
There are two instances when Dr. Bjornson and your general dentist may recommend crown lengthening. The first instance is when there is not enough tooth to restore with a filling or crown because of extensive decay or tooth fracture. In this case, the gums and bone are surgically positioned to expose healthy tooth structure and create a healthy environment. The crown or filling can be completed in approximately six weeks. A temporary restoration is usually placed during the healing time.
The second instance is when the gums are uneven and some teeth appear too short or the patient has a “gummy smile”. The balancing of the gum line creates a natural backdrop for a beautiful smile. Some patients will have cosmetic dentistry following crown lengthening.
Dr. Bjornson offers conscious sedation for the patient’s comfort in surgical procedures. Conscious sedation differs from general anesthesia in that the patient retains the ability to breathe on their own and respond. It is a safe procedure for in-office procedures and offers the patient the chance to rest comfortably and often erases the memory of the surgery.
Intravenous sedation can be customized to the patient’s level of comfort. An escort is needed for the patient following this sedation. This is often called “twilight sedation”. Dr. Bjornson is trained and certified in Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support and has performed safe sedation procedures for over twenty years.