Dr. Khandaqji occasionally get questions from people with what we call “black triangles” between their teeth. If a person has serious chronic gum disease, one of two things can happen that can cause large black triangles. Gingival Mask is a treatment for the gum disease can surgically remove some of the gum in order to make the teeth easier to clean, thus saving the teeth. Or, even in the absence of oral surgery, once the gums are brought into a healthier state, the inflammation decreases and the swelling goes down, leaving the spaces between the teeth.
Beneficial for patients with high lip lines and a gummy smile who have been treated with osseointegrated dental implants. With a high smile line these patients often display the junction of the implant prosthesis with the natural soft tissues. An answer can be what we call a gingival mask prosthesis, a picture of which we have displayed on the right. It is made out of silicone, so it is flexible, and tags of the material are made to fit between the teeth and lock it in place. A gingival mask needs to be cared for carefully so that it will last as long as possible. Gingival Masks may only last a few months and then need to be replaced, or it could last a couple of years. And it would be advisable to remove it during any rough activities such as contact sports, skiing, or any other activity that could dislodge the appliance as it could pose a choking risk.
Patients will be instructed on proper care of the prosthesis, ie, to handle with care, clean with a brush and denture toothpaste, and soak in water in a denture cup at night. Applications for a removable gingival replacement unit, or a gingival mask, are as follows: (1) to cover exposed crown margins; (2) to cover exposed implant components; (3) to cover root surfaces and reduce the length of the clinical crown; (4) to block out the black triangles between teeth in which gingival recession has occurred; (5) to fill in the space between the crown and the soft tissue; (6) prevent air flow through or beneath maxillary fixed restoration, improving phonetics; and (7) to provide increased lip and cheek support for those patients who require it.
The advantage of this technique is that it allows for easy replacement of the soft tissue for improved esthetics while permitting easy access or oral hygiene procedures. The disadvantages are that the gingival mask is fragile and needs to be handled with care or it may fracture, and for those patients who desired a fixed prosthesis to avoid the problems associated with a removable prosthesis, they now have a removable prosthesis again. If you need a dentist in San Ramon, click below to see all the Mona Lisa Smile Dental team reviews on Google+ or Yelp about San Ramon, CA dentist Dr. Mohammad Khandaqji, DDS