Dr. Parham has been Dalton’s specialist in gum and dental bone health for more than 30 years.
Your body is an amazing thing – it has the ability to ward off disease, recover from illness and heal itself from damage like minor cuts and bruises. Unfortunately, not all parts of your body heal as easily as your skin. When you suffer bone loss as a result of gum disease or tooth extraction, your body may need help repairing or replacing the damaged or lost bone.
Who can benefit from bone regeneration?
Bone Grafting After Gum Disease
As we get older, we become more susceptible to infections of all kinds, including those that lead to gum disease. As the infection progresses, the bacteria “eat away” at the bone, leaving your teeth with gradually less support until they become loose or shaky. In early stages of the gum disease, Dr. Parham may recommend non-surgical treatment such as scaling and root planing to help rid your gums and bone of the infection. However, in more advanced stages, you may require surgical therapy that includes bone regeneration techniques to build back the bone you have lost. An adequate amount of bone will not only support the tooth that has suffered from bone loss, but the adjacent teeth as well!
Bone Grafts to Prepare for Dental Implants
Prior to considering dental implants to replace missing teeth, Dr. Parham will evaluate the amount of bone you have available. A sufficient volume of bone is vital for proper crown placement for the most natural-looking, stable and functional replacement teeth. If you have lost a substantial amount of bone due to the absence of one tooth or many teeth, you may require bone grafting to build back the lost bone. Implants placed in healthy, thick bone are also more predictable and successful for the long term future.
How does periodontal bone grafting work?
Depending on the amount of bone needed for a particular tooth or area, Dr. Parham will choose a the proper materials and method for bone grafting. Dr. Parham may use your own bone, or he may elect to use a synthetic graft to build your jaw bone to a healthy height and breadth. We also have the advanced technology of special healing membranes that will help the graft to integrate and heal quickly and predictably. In many cases, we can place your dental implants at the time your bone graft is placed, shortening your wait for an excellent final result! As always, during the surgery you will have the benefit of sedation dentistry, so you’ll feel comfortable and relaxed.
Want to know more about bone grafting?
If you have questions about your specific case or would like to discuss bone grafts with Dr. Parham, please call (706) 278-5344 for a consultation appointment, or request an appointment online.
Preparing Your Teeth for Crowns or Fillings
During the process of restoration with crowns or fillings, sometimes a tooth is clinically too short to form a good bond with the restoration. This often occurs if a tooth is broken off at the gum line or if a crown or filling comes off and there is decay underneath. If this is the case, your general dentist may refer you to Dr. Parham, a periodontist, for a procedure called crown lengthening.
Crown lengthening is simply contouring your gums and bone around your tooth to give your general dentist enough tooth structure to work with. This procedure is also often used to correct an overly “gummy smile” and reveal more of your upper teeth.
As a periodontist, Dr. Parham routinely performs crown lengthening surgery – on at least a weekly basis! As with all of the procedures in our office, you have the option of sedation dentistry to help you feel relaxed and comfortable during your visit.
Schedule an Appointment
If your general dentist is referring you for crown lengthening or if you feel you may benefit from this procedure, please call our office at (706) 278-5344 to make an appointment or use the appointment request form on our website. We look forward to hearing from you!
Gum Tissue Graft
Gingival grafting, sometimes called periodontal or gum grafting, is a very common procedure used to augment the appearance of a person’s smile. It is also frequently used when a person experiences sensitivity due to receding gums or after gum disease has been resolved with surgical scaling and root planing therapy.
Why do I need a gum graft?
When gingivitis is left untreated and develops into more advanced stages of periodontal disease, harmful bacteria can eat away at the bone supporting the teeth, leading to exposed tooth roots that are sensitive. Improper tooth brushing techniques that are too aggressive can also lead to gum line recession, tooth root exposure, and a tendency to trap bacteria in hard-to-clean places. This process typically leads to further gum disease, cavities, and ultimately tooth loss.
Through gum grafting, Dr. Parham takes a piece of donor gum tissue, often from another site in your own mouth, to graft in to the site of recession and cover the exposed root surface. After several weeks of proper care and healing, you will return to see the initial results of your grafting procedure. Although this first visit is fairly indicative of how successful the gum graft has been, it may take up to a year for the grafted tissue to mature and grow to its final height and thickness.
Benefits of Gum Grafting
Soft tissue grafts have many benefits:
- Covering exposed tooth roots and protecting them from decay
- Reducing the chance of further recession and bone loss
- Improved appearance of your smile
- Reducing tooth sensitivity to hot and cold
The ultimate goal of a gum graft is to give you thicker, healthier gum tissue that is not only more attractive, but protects your teeth.
As with all our surgical procedures, Dr. Parham recommends sedation to ensure your total comfort and relaxation during your procedure.
What is gum disease?
You may already be familiar with gingivitis – bleeding gums with redness, but little discomfort. Gingivitis is actually the first stage of periodontal disease (“gum disease”), and it’s a sign your mouth is becoming infected with harmful bacteria. If left untreated, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis – a bacterial infection that leads to receding gums, bone loss, and eventually the loss of your teeth! Recent studies have also shown connections between gum disease and inflammatory diseases including Alzheimer’s, heart disease and diabetes.
Gum Disease Treatment
When you visit our office, Dr. Parham or one of our hygienists will perform a routine screening for signs of gum disease. We use a special instrument to measure the amount of bone loss you have, and we can use this information to recommend your best course of treatment. If you have mild periodontitis, we can perform Scaling and Root Planing to rid your gums of the infection and, if necessary, place an antibiotic fiber called Arestin over the infected site to promote complete healing. If you have more advanced stages of gum disease, Dr. Parham may recommend surgical therapy to cleanse the tooth roots and deep pockets beneath the gums and give your mouth a “clean slate” to begin healing.
Preventing Future Periodontal Infection
Following scaling and root planing or surgical therapy, we work closely with our patients to make sure you have proper brushing and flossing technique. The best way to prevent future infection of your mouth is (surprise!) good oral hygiene at home. Everyone needs a reminder now and then – and our hygienists are happy to work with you until you’re confident in your home care abilities.
Call Today for an Appointment!
Heading off gum disease before it becomes serious will save you time, money and discomfort in the long term. As a periodontist, Dr. Parham specializes in treating aggressive cases of gum disease and can help save your teeth.
If you have red gums or bleeding when you brush or floss, take the first step and call (706) 278-5344 to appoint for a periodontal exam.
Other services include:
- Scaling + Root Planing