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Gum surgery in Manchester and gum recontouring can be carried out to improve oral health or for cosmetic reasons.

Our dentist in Manchester explains that people undergo gum surgery in Manchester and gum recontouring for many reasons. Did you know, for example, that as many as 80% of the UK population are thought to have some form of gum disease/recession? While each case is unique, factors such as aggressive brushing, inflammation caused by dental plaque, and a thin gingival biotype are precipitating factors.

Alternatively, a cosmetic dentist may also suggest gum surgery or gum recontouring if you have what is commonly known as a ‘gummy smile’. This is when gum tissue overgrows the teeth, and they appear too big for your smile.

Whether you require gum surgery due to advanced gum disease or purely for aesthetic reasons, let’s take a closer look at gum surgery types and what you can expect.

Pocket reduction or elimination surgery

In moderate to severe periodontal cases, the supporting bone and tissue are resorbed back into the body. This forms pockets around the teeth. Over time these pockets can become deeper, providing an ideal space for bacteria to thrive. As more and more bacteria develop in the pockets around the teeth, they will advance under the gum tissue, resulting in further gum and tissue loss. Eventually, if too much bone is lost, affected teeth will need to be extracted.

There are several forms of periodontal gum surgery which can help to reduce any probable depth, allowing for less plaque accumulation and easier access for hygiene. The type of gum surgery performed will depend on a wide number of factors. However, our Manchester dentist will discuss a favourable surgical route with you, depending on your individual circumstances.

Among others, some of the most common treatments include:

  • Apically repositioned flap surgery.
  • Coronally positioned flap surgery.
  • Free gingival grafts (known technically as palatal gingival grafts).

While the latter involves taking small amounts of tissue from the palate of the patient and relocating them onto the site of the recession, both the former involves a technique known as a pedicle graft.

Gum regeneration

In cases where the gum cannot be saved using apical or coronal flap surgery methods, a dentist may opt for other treatments. Once the gum has been folded back and any disease-causing bacteria has been removed, the surgeon can insert membranes, bone grafts, tissue-stimulating proteins – or a combination of all of the above – to encourage gum tissue to regenerate and grow snugly around the tooth. As such, processes such as the following can be used:

  • Bone grafting.
  • Guided tissue regeneration (using a membrane).
  • Tissue grafting.

Crown lengthening

The crown lengthening procedure is also known as gum recontouring. Manchester patients should know that this can be used for cosmetic effects – think gummy smile – as well as to aid better oral health.

In these instances, a dentist may need to expose more of the tooth surface to enable a crown to fit properly or to eradicate periodontal pockets, which can be difficult to keep clean. In either case, this is done by removing any overgrowth of gum tissue either surgically – using a traditional scalpel and sutures – or through the use of the latest laser dentistry techniques. The latter of which is designed to be minimally invasive and suture free. Nevertheless, crown lengthening is a common dental procedure that takes less than an hour to complete.

The clinical outcome of crown lengthening is to expose more of the tooth and less of the gums by recontouring bone and/or gum tissue. It can be performed on a single tooth, several teeth, or an entire row of teeth depending on the extent of the problem. Either way, the end result should be a well-balanced, healthy smile.

Gingival flap surgery – what Manchester patients can expect

Although all are relatively common procedures, Gingival flap surgery (pocket reduction surgery) is the most familiar. So, when it comes to gum surgery, Manchester patients can expect the following:

Before gum surgery

Before any surgery begins, you’ll receive an anaesthetic to numb the area. Then your dentist (or hygienist) will give your teeth a thorough clean. They will also ask you questions about your medical health and any other medications you may be taking that might impact on the surgical procedure.

During the surgery

When you are all set to go, the dentist begins by opening up the gum in order to gain access to the tissue below. Any infected tissue is carefully removed from in and around the tooth. A procedure called tooth scaling and root planing is then carried out to remove any bacteria and plaque from below the gum line and any rough spots from the tooth root where future bacteria can lodge.

The gum is replaced or grafted as necessary, and the area is stitched. Finally, a special type of dressing known as a periodontal pack is placed over the area.

Gum surgery in Manchester – Aftercare

Most people feel only mild to moderate discomfort post-gum surgery, and any pain felt can usually be brought under control using over-the-counter medications. We may also recommend antibiotics to aid recovery. Under normal circumstances, Manchester patients can expect to be back to normal within 7-14 days.

For our more challenging periodontal cases, we may refer you to our accomplished and trusted colleague Dr Ian Dunn, who is based in Wilmslow.

Whatever your gum surgery or gum recontouring needs, Manchester patients should know that they are in safe and capable hands when they visit Cheadle Hulme Dental and Cosmetics. To find out more or to book a consultation, call us on 01614 860 743 or visit our website.


What is a pedicle graft?

This involves taking a flap of nearby healthy gum and, while remaining attached at one corner, moving it either apically – the direction of the root tip – or coronally – towards the direction of the crown. Once repositioned, the flap is attached to the recession site and allowed to heal.

Both the latter are proven surgical techniques designed to;

  • Cover exposed root surfaces leading to deep pockets.
  • Re-augment the band of keratinised tissue that forms between the teeth and gum.

These are both important factors in terms of functionality and aesthetics. However, in order for Manchester gum surgery to be successful using these methods, patients will require an adequate thickness and width of gingival tissue located at the base of the recession defect.

For more information regarding this treatment
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