I do some gum procedures. My patients can be confident that I will make a referral if I’m not completely sure that I can equal the quality of a specialist.
A lot of the times, if it’s just slight recession of the gums, we can just cover the root with enamel colored material and that takes care of the cosmetic problem.
A patient’s concern is that their gums have receded and their teeth are getting longer; you’ve heard the phrase, “long in the tooth”.
For some people it will be that their gums have receded and exposed the root but they may have just lost 1 millimeter (1mm) or 2mm.
You can tell if the root is exposed because it’s a slightly different color than the enamel.
In those cases I can put some of this composite which is a mixture of porcelain and acrylic, match the enamel shade and cover that little bit of root.
Many people don’t have long teeth partly because so many people grind their teeth.
Most people have a problem of their teeth being too short. They also sometimes have a problem where the gums are not symmetrical.
I can do a gum lift by re-contouring the gums. I use an electro-surge, an electronic device that vaporizes the gums to make tiny changes (like one to two mm).
I refer Gingival Grafting to a gum specialist. There are periodontists in this area that I refer to.
Gingival Grafting is used when your gums have receded and your roots are exposed. A connective tissue graft can be done. It’s really a difficult procedure to do well and make the result look good.
The gum tissue is removed from the roof of the mouth and is put where it is needed. There are a few general dentists that can do it well but not many and they end up charging the same as a specialist.
In my practice I’ve only seen 5-6% of patients needing gum grafts.