Types of Periodontal Procedures

At the dental office of Anne A. Nicholas, DDS, we offer a number of periodontal procedures to ensure that we meet all of your dental needs. Our talented dentist, Dr. Anne Nicholas, and her colleagues strive to provide a wide variety of treatments in a comfortable, welcoming environment. We invite you to read the information below and contact our dental office to learn more about periodontal procedures in Palm Desert, California.

Periodontal surgery is the procedure used to treat disease or repair defects in the tissues of the teeth or surrounding areas. Many times this procedure can be performed with a laser, without cutting or stitching. The laser generates a tiny beam of concentrated light energy. This energy sterilizes the area and removes diseased tissue and debris found underneath the gum within the pocket. Laser technology reduces bleeding, swelling, and the overall healing time.

A soft tissue graft is a procedure to replace lost soft tissue as a result of recession. Healthy gum tissue is removed from the palate or taken from another donor source and attached to the area where the gum has receded. This added tissue reseals and protects the tooth and underlying bone from further recession, bone loss, and decay.

Tooth extraction is the complete removal of a tooth from the mouth. Some extractions require cutting into the gums and removing supporting bone and/or cutting the tooth into sections prior to removal.

Crown lengthening is a procedure that reshapes the gum and supporting tissues surrounding a tooth. Crown lengthening adjusts the gum and bone levels to expose more of the tooth.

An apicoectomy (also known as a root-end resection) is the removal of the root tip and the surrounding infected tissue of an abscessed tooth. This procedure involves surgical entry through soft tissue and bone to gain access to the end of the infected tooth root. The end of the root is removed, and the root is reshaped and filled to seal it.

A dental implant is an artificial substitute for natural tooth roots. The implant is a small anchor, shaped like a screw, that is placed into the jawbone. During the healing period of 3-6 months, the bone in the jaw fuses to the implant, securing it in place. The dentist then attaches a small metal post (an abutment) to the implant, which projects through the gums. After this second minor surgical treatment, the gums take several weeks to heal. The implant is then ready for the placement of a replacement tooth by the general dentist.

Sinus augmentation – For some patients, the upper back jaw is a difficult area for dental implants due to insufficient bone and the close proximity to the sinus. A sinus augmentation or lift is a procedure that corrects this problem by raising the sinus floor and developing bone in the upper back jaw in the area of the molars to make it taller. To make room for the bone, the sinus membrane has to be moved upward, or “lifted.” First an incision is made in the gum to expose the bone. Then a small circle is cut into the bone, and the bone piece is lifted into the sinus cavity like a trap door. The bone graft material is added between the jaw and the maxillary sinuses, which are on either side of the nose. The bone graft material may be either bone from the same patient or a substance called decalcified freeze-dried bone allografts (DFDBA). which is obtained from a donor.

Ridge augmentation is a type of bone graft that is performed when the jaw is not wide enough to support implants. The gum is lifted away from the ridge and the jawbone is separated along the ridge. Bone graft material is placed into the newly created space to build it up. The incision is closed and allowed to heal. The jawbone usually will be allowed to develop for about four to twelve months before implants can be placed. For some patients, the implant can actually be placed at the same time the ridge is modified.

Distal wedge is a surgical procedure to remove excessive soft tissue behind a molar to gain access to underlying bone and eliminate periodontal pockets.

Frenectomy is the removal of a fold of tissue or muscle that connects the lips, cheek, or tongue to the jawbone. This is a common surgical procedure for dental and orthodontic procedures.

Biological (root) reshaping is the re-contouring of the existing root and tooth structure to remove defects, abnormalities, and disease. The root surface is smoothed and the result is a more acceptable surface for gum tissue attachment.