Cosmetic Enhancements

When we think of cosmetic surgery, we tend to focus on the cheeks, eyes, and nose. But there are some appearance enhancements that a cosmetic surgeon can not make: those having to do with your teeth. As more people look to improve their appearance through surgery, cosmetic dentistry is experiencing a rise in popularity. In fact, a poll conducted by the American Academy of Periodontology found that smile enhancement procedures outnumbered eyelid surgeries five to one.

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry cites a recent study in which participants were shown photos of people before and after smile-enhancing treatment. The people with improved smiles were rated not just as more attractive, but also more popular, sensitive, successful, and friendly.

If you are interested in improving your smile, we can help in a variety of areas. The following are some of the most common corrections we perform for our patients.

Gummy or Crooked Smile

If you have too much gum showing when you smile, causing your teeth to look short, we call this a "gummy smile."  If your gum line is uneven, causing some teeth to look shorter than others, we call this a "crooked smile."  Both situations are easily remedied with a procedure referred to as a Gum Lift or Crown Lengthening. During this procedure, we remove excess gum tissue and reshape the contour of your gums to lengthen the crowns of your teeth and provide a natural-looking gum line.

Exposed Roots

Gum recession can be caused by:

  • Gum disease
  • Vigorous brushing
  • Grinding or clenching
  • Simple aging 
  • Genetics

Regardless of the cause, as gums recede they expose the roots of the tooth.  Exposed roots can result in:

  • The appearance of longer teeth
  • Increased vulnerability to root decay
  • Increased bone loss
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold liquids and foods

The solution to this situation is a Soft-Tissue Graft, also known as a Gum Graft. During this procedure, tissue from the top of your mouth or another source is transplanted to the gum area, covering the roots and restoring the gum line to its original, healthy location. A Soft-Tissue Graft protects your roots from decay and helps prevent additional gum recession.

Missing Teeth

Aside from creating distracting gaps in your smile, missing teeth can cause problems with your oral health. Teeth on either side of a gap left by a lost tooth begin to move toward the vacant area, causing a shift in all of the teeth and bite.  To restore your smile to fullness and health, we use Dental Implants. An implant is a replacement tooth attached to a synthetic root that is surgically placed into the jawbone. Permanent implant crowns look and feel like natural teeth. Implants can last a lifetime if cared for properly.

Gum Indentations

When a tooth falls out or is removed, an indentation can appear in the gums and jawbone just above the spot where the tooth used to be. This occurs because the jawbone slowly atrophies or disappears in response to the lack of a tooth and an empty space. In combination with replacing your missing tooth, we can provide Ridge Augmentation. This is a procedure in which we smooth out the indentation in the jawbone to recreate the original curvature of your gums and jaw. This procedure generally includes bone grafting to restore the missing bone, and in some cases must be performed prior to the placement of implants to ensure that sufficient bone is available to securely retain the implant.

Academy of General Dentistry American Orthodontic Society American Dental Association American Academy of Implant Dentistry Texas Dental Association Pankey Institute
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