You already know that a cosmetic dentist can make your teeth whiter and brighter, but what about the rest of your mouth? Cosmetic dentistry isn't limited to your teeth. Periodontal plastic surgery is a specialty that can restore both the form and function of your gums, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). More than 8.5 percent of all American adults ages 20 through 64 have gum disease, notes the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. If you have periodontal problems, understanding what a cosmetic dentist can do for you is key to creating a healthy mouth!
1. Is cosmetic surgery necessary for everyone with gum disease? No. If you have a mild problem, the dentist may feel that changes to your oral hygiene care will do the trick. This may include brushing and flossing regularly (if you don't already) or making lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking.
2. Why have surgery? The AACD notes that periodontal surgery can eliminate the pockets (or spaces) that build up between gums and teeth. This helps to heal your mouth and allows for proper reattachment of the gums to the bone of your teeth.
3. Why go to a cosmetic dentist for gum surgery? Along with putting health back into your mouth, this type of periodontal procedure is also an aesthetic one. Not only will it start the healing process, but it can also make your smile look better.
4. Is there just one type of surgery for gums? There are a few different options available through cosmetic dentistry practices. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, plastic surgery can correct long or exposed roots. The surgeon uses gum grafts to cover the exposed areas and even out your smile. If you have indentations in your gums or jawbones from bone recession, ridge augmentation can create a more natural contour in your gumline through surgery.
5. Do surgeons only help patients with gum disease? While periodontal problems are a major reason for seeking help, cosmetic dentists also correct 'gummy smiles'. What does this mean? If your gumline is too high or you feel that you're showing more gum than teeth, the surgeon can remove the extra tissue to create an even look.
Cosmetic dentists don't just fix teeth. If your gums need help, these dental pros can craft a new look by shaping your smile. Through procedures such as grafts, you can have a more even gumline and better overall dental health.