If you lose a tooth due to trauma or decay, your first priority might be to schedule a realistic-looking dental implant to fill that hole. However, if the trauma or decay also caused recessed gums, you will need to have that problem fixed before you can receive the implant.
Recessed gums can expose the tooth root, which would make the implant weaker. Here are a couple of ways your cosmetic dentist can fix the problem of recessed gums for under a dental implant.
Is your jawbone still healthy but the gum tissue has simply receded down the bone? Your dentist might recommend a gum graft.
This procedure involves removing soft tissue from elsewhere in the mouth – usually the mouth roof – and stitching the graft onto the area of recessed gums. Over a period of healing, the two sections of soft tissue will fuse together and create a higher gum line. Your dental implant procedure can then take place.
If you have bone decay along with the recessed gums, you might need to undergo a bone graft before the gum graft. A bone graft involves taking bone from the roof of the mouth and inserting it into a weakened section of jawbone. The two sections will fuse during healing.
Your gum graft will then take place so that there is enough soft tissue in the area to cover the healing bone. Exposed bone lacks the blood vessels necessary to keep the bone healthy, healing and alive. So it's important to cover the bone with soft tissue.
Sometimes you can have adequate amounts of gum tissue to cover the jawbone and tooth root, but the position or size of the jawbone would cause a gap between the implant and gums. A cosmetic dentist can get around this problem with the use of pink porcelain.
The dental implant procedure will begin as normal with a screw-like metal root inserted into the jawbone, then allowed to heal. A post is attached to that root and then an artificial tooth is attached to the post. But instead of only containing the crown – or white part of the tooth – this implant will have a pink section at the bottom that can mimic the look of gums and close the gap between implant and actual gums.
Note that while pink porcelain on an implant will look like natural gums at a glance, it doesn't completely match the natural gums. Keep this in mind if the dental implant is in the front of the mouth, but rear teeth shouldn't be noticeable.