Periodontics

FRENECTOMY

A frenulum is a piece of tissue that prevents an organ from moving. There is a frenulum that attaches your upper lip to the gums, while another connects the lower lip to the gums. A frenulum that is too short or thick, will cause problems in speech patterns and tooth misalignment. In infants, a shortened frenulum underneath the tongue will inhibit breastfeeding. When the frenulum disrupts movement, growth, or development, corrective action is necessary to resolve the situation.

A frenectomy is a minor surgical procedure that is performed in your Gilmer family dentist’s office. Dr. Furniss performs this small surgery with a state-of-the-art CO2 laser and this takes less than 15 minutes. Using a laser results in very little bleeding and does not require stitches. The laser also results in less postoperative discomfort and a shorter healing time. Adults, young children and infants usually do not need to be put to sleep for the procedure. Dr. Furniss typically just uses topical and/or local anesthesia. This is a simple, routine procedure with a great success rate.

 

 

OCCLUSAL ADJUSTMENT

Do you wake in the morning with sore jaws?

When you bite, do you feel like your jaw is lopsided? When you close your jaws does it feel like your teeth have to slide into place? If so, then you may need an occlusal adjustment.

An occlusal adjustment corrects the alignment of the bite. This misalignment may be caused by loose, shifting, crowded, or missing teeth. The result is an evenly distributed bite that eliminates irregular pressure on one side of the mouth. Once your bite is adjusted, your teeth will meet properly. Occlusal adjustment is typically painless and accomplished in just a few minutes.

Who is a good candidate for an occlusal adjustment? Patients with loose or shifting teeth will many times not meet correctly. Patients, who grind or clench their teeth, will have an uneven bite and pressure distribution in the mouth, which is also corrected through an occlusal adjustment. Sometimes tooth sensitivity can be corrected through an occlusal adjustment as the treatment reduces pressure on the sensitive tooth.

Dr. Furniss has invested in new technology to much more accurately identify the areas which need adjustments. He utilizes a computer scan of the mouth, which records hundreds of bite registrations per minute, and notes even the slightest irregularity. That data allows Dr. Furniss to make only the adjustments that are absolutely necessary, which ensures a well-aligned bite and minimal tooth wear.

If you suspect that you may need an occlusal adjustment, schedule an appointment.

 

 

PERIODONTAL SPLINTING

Loose teeth are uncomfortable, especially when you try to eat food or chew gum. The feeling of the tooth pulling away from the gum is enough to send chills down your spine. It seems like an eternity, waiting for either the tooth to become loose enough to be extracted or strong enough to no longer be a problem.

Teeth become loose because of lost gum tissue, injury, orthodontic treatment, or pressure caused by tooth misalignment. A new technique called periodontal splinting attaches weak teeth together, turning them into a single unit that is stable and stronger than the single teeth by themselves. The procedure is most commonly performed on the front teeth. The procedure is as simple as using composite material to attach, or splint, the loose teeth to the adjoining stable teeth. Tooth splinting is a common procedure that has gained popularity due to its effectiveness.

Life is too short to live with loose teeth.

 

 

 

PERIODONTAL (GUM) DISEASE

Periodontal (gum) disease is insidious. It is an infection of the gums that starts out as plaque, an opaque film on the teeth that hardens to form tartar. As tartar accumulates, it harbors bacteria that attack the soft tissue around the gums. This is the early stage of gum disease known as Gingivitis. Left untreated, Gingivitis becomes Periodontitis which ultimately destroys the tissue surrounding your teeth AND the bone that holds your teeth in place. Except for bad breath and gums that bleed, there are very few early warning signals. The disease advances silently, often without pain, and before you know it, you are losing your teeth and you don’t know why.

Tooth loss is only the most obvious indicator of gum disease. Scientific research has discovered linkage between gum disease and stroke, heart disease, diabetes – even an increased risk for pregnant women. When your gums become diseased, your entire immune system is weakened.

In the past, fear of painful dental surgery has kept people with gum disease from seeking the care they needed. Well, those days are gone forever.

 

 

SCALING & ROOT PLANING

Gingivitis is a generative disease that left untreated, will cause significant tooth and gum deterioration. Just the word gingivitis can strike panic in a patient’s mind. The reality is that the treatment is simple and performed right in your Gilmer family dentist’s office.

Plaque and tarter that sits on the teeth provides an environment which allows bacteria to thrive and multiply. The bacteria cause the gums to become inflamed and bleed. The condition becomes more noticeable when you brush your teeth or even sometimes when you eat. These are signs of the early stage of gingivitis. Gingivitis is easily treated by having our hygienists scale and polish the teeth. If gingivitis is left untreated, the condition will progress and the roots will need to have diseased tissue removed from them by scaling and root planing. Scaling is the removal of the dental tartar (calculus) from the tooth surface Root planing is the process of smoothing the root surfaces and removing the infected tooth structure.

As a non-surgical procedure, scaling and planing is performed with or without local anesthesia in Dr. Furniss’s office. While the procedure is usually painless, advanced stages of gingivitis often make it necessary to numb the area for complete comfort. Deep scaling and root planing are usually broken down into two sections of the mouth per appointment. This allows for adequate healing time and reduces the time for each appointment.

 

 

SOFT TISSUE GRAFT

A soft tissue graft is used when there has been a significant amount of gum recession in a particular area. Mild gum recession can usually be fixed with a few changes to your oral hygiene routine to take better care of your teeth and gums. When the gingiva recedes further it exposes you to greater risk for infection and bacterial penetration. You will likely be more sensitive to hot and cold foods when you have receding gums. If the gums recede enough as to expose the root you can set yourself up for more serious problems. The root is softer than the enamel making it more vulnerable to bacteria and plaque.

To restore proper gum level and functionality a soft tissue graft can be performed. This is done by either removing soft tissue from the roof of the mouth or repositioning healthy gum tissue from adjacent teeth. This procedure is very predictable and has a high success rate. This procedure should be performed before more serious problems develop and periodontal surgery is necessary.