Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a serious health problem that affects 64.7 million Americans. Sadly, many people don’t realize they have it or that it’s severe until they start losing teeth or it contributes to other systemic disorders such as heart disease or diabetes. In early stages, gum disease can be treated using non-surgical methods such as antibiotics and deep cleanings, but more advanced cases often require some form of surgery. In each case, we carefully examine the patient's oral health to determine the least invasive and most effective approach to protect their best health.
Periodontist Dr. Karl A. Rose has many tools in his belt to halt and even reverse the effects of gum disease and address other problems. Some of these involve intensive treatment and healing time, but they can save your teeth, protect your overall health, and give you a beautiful smile for years to come.
Bacteria love to hide in tiny crevices between your gums and your teeth. Over time gum tissue becomes infected, gumlines recede and bone structure is lost. To remove infection deep below the gumline, Dr. Rose might recommend osseous or flap surgery. During this procedure, your gums will be gently lifted back and the doctor will scrape away infected tissue, rough bone, and tartar and plaque to elinimate infection and promote healing. In addition to removing harmful bacteria, this process also decreases the pockets between your gums and teeth—making it more difficult for bacteria to invade in the future.
Periodontal disease can cause your gums to recede, leaving your tooth roots exposed, which then leads to oversensitivity and unsightly, uneven gumlines. Dr. Rose can treat receding gums by taking a small strip of tissue from another place in your mouth and placing it under your existing gums. He’ll then gently stitch you up and within a few weeks your gums will look and feel completely healthy again.
As periodontal disease works its way down below your gumlines, it causes bone to abate, leaving your teeth unstable and liable to fall out. When teeth are lost, it further diminishes bone tissue. Dr. Rose can use bone grafting to rebuild your jaw structure to save teeth and to allow for the placement of dental implants.
This procedure is used to remove excess gum tissue around your teeth for cosmetic or other purposes. Dr. Rose often uses crown lengthening to shape attractive gumlines for patients who have “gummy” smiles. He can also use this procedure to expose more surface area to repair badly damaged teeth. If a significant portion of a tooth is lost he may need to remove gum tissue in order to rebuild the “crown” of the tooth.
Guided bone and tissue regeneration "regenerates" the previously lost gum and bone tissue. Most techniques utilize membranes, which are inserted over the bone defects. Some of these membranes are bio-absorbable and some require removal. Other regenerative procedures involve the use of bioactive gels.
Careful management of extraction sockets after tooth extraction prevents unsightly bone loss and a better cosmetic outcome of tooth replacement.
For some patients, a laser gum treatment called LANAP may be able to negate the need for surgery even in advanced cases. Dr. Rose will examine your gum health to see if you’re a candidate for this procedure as well.
This patient had decay that destroyed the heads of her teeth. There was not enough tooth structure exposed to reliably rebuild the tooth. In order to rebuild these teeth, Crown lengthening surgery was needed.
Step 1. The gum, and underlying bone was raised (upward) so that more of the roots of the teeth were exposed.
Step 2. A set of temporary crowns was fabricated to fit on the newly exposed tooth roots so that the patient had teeth with which to function. The edges of the temporary crowns were kept shy of the gums, so as not to interfere with their healing.
Step 3. After healing was complete, the teeth were crowned. What was a devastated (dental) situation, was salvaged. The teeth were returned to their original function and health.
Before these techniques were widely used, these teeth would have been extracted and replaced by a removable denture.
If you think you may need surgery to fight gum disease or for other issues, contact us today to make an appointment. We are proud to serve the entire Washington, DC area from our convenient office in Chevy Chase, MD. When you come in, periodontist Dr. Karl A. Rose will thoroughly evaluate the condition of your gums, teeth, and bone to determine the best course of action for you. Then he’ll make treatment recommendations to help you keep a beautiful, healthy smile for life.