Periodontal surgery can be used to correct anatomical defects and to enhance your smile.

Gum recession

Gum recession is a common finding amongst adult New Zealanders.  It is estimated that approximately 70% of the young adult NZ population have at least one site of gum recession. In the U.S. it is thought that about one in 5 adults aged 30 years old or older have gum recession of 3mm or more.

There are several contributing factors which cause gum recession. A very typical case would be excessive toothbrushing pressure in an area where the gum tissues are already very thin. Occasionally the tooth is found to be sitting outside the dental arch. This may be a side effect of orthodontic treatment, not always. Whilst all care can be taken to minimise its occurrence, there can be already an inherent anatomical problem with a very slight discrepancy in the tooth size and the jaw size which may lead to an unavoidable scenario. 

The recession site can be covered using a number of options: (1) a gum graft with gum tissues taken from other parts of the mouth commonly the palate (2) bio materials sourced from carefully selected bovine and porcine origins. Regenerative materials can be used to enhance healing and promote attachment.  There are pros and cons of each option. Successful surgical outcomes are dependent on several things. Your periodontist will discuss this with you during your consult.

All patients are a little anxious about pain and discomfort associated with surgical procedures and this is very normal. Your periodontist will explain our pre-operative care and aftercare protocols to ensure that you are well looked after.

The clinical indications for treatment would be if there's sensitivity from the exposed root and/ or aesthetic concerns. Difficulty in maintaining the gum attachment will jeopardise the longevity of the tooth.

Aesthetic periodontal surgery

We perform a wide range of elective cosmetic surgical procedures. This may include removal of darkly pigmented gums to reshaping of the gums. Your periodontist will be able to discuss your specific requirements and treatment options during the initial consult.

Crown lengthening surgery and gingivectomy

This procedure involves the removal of gum tissue and often bone in order to expose more of the top portion of the tooth. Typically this is done to facilitate the placement of a definitive crown or filling. The dentist prepares the tooth until he or she removes all of the unsound or infected tooth structure. If the tooth decay has extended below the gums it is not possible for the dentist to have direct access to the tooth margin. Bleeding gums hinder the bonding agents and becomes an obstacle. 

Aesthetic crown lengthening surgery

Occasionally the tooth is covered with excess gum tissues and this can affect the appearance for your smile. Periodontal surgery removes the excess gum tissues and re-contours the gums.

Access flap surgery / pocket reduction surgery

There may be persistent sites of infection and inflammation following non-surgical periodontal therapy. The gums are raised for direct viewing and open debridement. 

Laser therapy

We offer treatment using the Er: YAG laser. Your periodontist will discuss the merits and cons of laser therapy and whether this is an option for you. 

Orthodontic related procedures

Frenectomies and pericisons are frequently prescribed by the orthodontist and the family dentist. Frenectomy separates the small soft tissue attachment between the lip/cheek and the gums next to the teeth. Pericision is the separation of the gum ligaments so that they can heal in a new orientation. The intention of these procedures is to minimise the risk of the teeth moving back into their original positions.

The success of the surgical procedures depends heavily on the quality of the aftercare as well as surgical expertise. We offer an oral hygiene coaching session prior to surgery for those who requires it and we schedule aftercare healing checks to ensure optimum healing. For patients who also present with active periodontitis your periodontist will explain how this is managed and how to sequence your overall treatment plan.


Click here for more information about periodontal procedures.