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Glossary of Periodontal Terms

To find out more, read our periodontal FAQ or make an appointment.

We will diagnose any periodontal issues you are experiencing and work with you to determine the best treatment.

Periodontal Treatments at Dental Health Associates

Even if you’re very careful about the health of your teeth, you might need periodontal surgery to protect your gums. A periodontal procedure focuses on the soft tissue that supports and provides blood flow to your teeth. Most procedures are intended to curb the spread of gingivitis or gum disease.

Prior to any gum procedure, your teeth are usually cleaned and X-rays may be taken to determine the extent of periodontal disease. Most procedures can be performed in about an hour using local anesthetic. Conscious sedation dentistry is available for periodontal work upon request.

Afterwards, you may receive medication to prevent infection if any incision has been made.


A biopsy is traditionally performed when a growth or lesion somewhere in the body must be analyzed to determine whether it is malignant. Only a small incision is necessary.

Bone Grafting/Ridge Augmentation

Bone grafting is a material that is used to build the volume of the bone to support placement of an implant. This substance will aid in the regeneration of the bone and will improve the results of your implant.

Connective Tissue Graft

During this procedure, tissue from within a small incision made in the roof of the mouth is used to augment gum tissue around an exposed root of a tooth.

Crown Lengthening/Crown Exposure

Crown lengthening is used to reduce the appearance of excess gum tissue. Extra tissue can make teeth appear too short. The removal of hard or soft tissue can allow access for restorative work to be completed, which is why crown lengthening serves as a first step in many restorative procedures.

Exposure of Unerupted Teeth

Unerupted teeth can be protected from complications by reshaping or removing some gum tissue.

Extractions and Implants

Tooth extraction can be necessary for a wide range of reasons, typically due to decay or trauma. Dental implants are specialized screws, generally made of titanium, that are used to anchor full-sized replacement teeth. A few months after the implant is placed, the artificial tooth is placed and anchored atop it.

Free Gingival Graft

In this procedure, an exposed tooth root is protected using a layer of tissue from the palate. It can be used to defend the patient’s original teeth or dental implants.


In this procedure, a muscular attachment between tissues in the mouth is removed to prevent it from obstructing normal function.

Gingival Flap and Root Planing

Gingival flap surgery is a treatment that involves separating gums from the teeth to access infected areas. During planing, deep cleaning is performed beneath the gum line.


This treatment involves removal of severely infected gum tissue. There are several reasons that a gingivectomy might be performed – but mostly it is to reduce gingival enlargements, asymmetrical or unaesthetic gingival topography.


LANAP uses a powerful medical laser to carefully eliminate infected gum tissue. It is the only treatment so far shown to promote gum tissue regeneration as well as bone regeneration.

Osseous Surgery

Osseous surgery is used to protect the long-term health of a tooth with a severe periodontal pocket. The surrounding bone is smoothed and reshaped to make the pocket shallower.

Scaling and Root Planing

Scaling & root planing is a special type of cleaning treatment for those with mild to moderate stages of periodontal disease. Special instruments are used to clean all surfaces of the teeth and under gums as well, to remove all harmful.

Sinus Augmentation

Also called sinus lift, this procedure entails adding bone between the jaw and the maxillary sinuses located on each side of the nose.

We recommend you eat prior to surgery and that you wear comfortable clothing. Consult your dentist about medication use prior to surgery, if you have any concerns do not hesitate to contact us. To learn more check out our surgery pre-op guide

It is normal to experience discomfort post-surgery. Continue to brush all areas of your teeth with a medium or soft-bristled, non-electric toothbrush; be cautious to avoid agitating the surgical site. Do not drink alcohol for 24 hours after surgery, avoid smoking for at least two full weeks to allow the surgical site to heal properly. To learn more check out our surgery post-op guide

Patient Information

We encourage new patients to fill out a new patient form online prior to your first appointment. Be sure to select the appropriate location for your new patient forms, as once you complete them, they are sent electronically to the office you’ve chosen. 


Medical and dental insurance can be confusing. Our staff has experience with your questions and can help you get the most from your insurance.

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