Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Dental electrosurgery is a surgical procedure for the removal of periodontal or soft tissue. You may be more familiar with the scalpel and suture surgical procedure. Electrosurgery accomplishes the same thing, but in a different fashion. The choice is determined by your particular conditions and needs.
Electrosurgery is most often used to remove or recontour small amounts of gingival (gum) tissue, stop minor soft tissue bleeding (prior to impressions for crowns or placement of restorations), and/or expose sound tooth structure when:
· Insufficient clinical tooth structure remains to allow the proper retention of a crown.
· The sound tooth structure is beneath the gingival tissue. 
· The gingival tissue is in poor position or contour.

Conventional surgery is needed when more extensive tissue removal, repositioning, or modification is required.

Electrosurgery is used in dentistry on a regular basis. A local anesthetic is given before the procedure is begun. A calibrated electric current is delivered to the site by a special handpiece and a selection of differently shaped tips. The different shapes are used to accomplish different things. The tip of the electrosurgery handpiece “draws” a line on the soft tissue and the soft tissue “falls off.” There is usually very little postoperative bleeding associated with electrosurgical procedures.

There is generally very little postoperative pain associated with the electrosurgical procedure.  Most patients say it feels like a mild burn from eating hot food.  Any nonprescription pain reliever is usually adequate for pain relief. Postoperative discomfort from conventional surgical crown lengthening is also usually minimal and the healing time is fast.

As with all soft tissue alterations in crown and bridge procedures, there may be an unavoidable delay before the final impression can be made. This is especially true when the crowns being prepared are easily visible when you speak or smile. While the soft tissue looks as if it is healed in a week or so, the tissue will continue to slowly change position and heal more fully for up to 8 weeks. At that time, the tooth may need to be slightly reshaped to compensate for the change before the impression is made. This is especially critical for upper front teeth. Obviously, the more tissue that is removed, the longer the healing time will be and the more likely final impression procedures will need to be postponed. If the procedure is done in a not critically cosmetic area, the impression will usually be made on the same day.

Sometimes the periodontal soft tissue changes that are needed are so extensive that they cannot be adequately accomplished by electrosurgery or a small conventional surgical procedure. If this is the case for you, you will be referred to a periodontist for the procedure. There will be an unavoidable delay in the final restoration while the tissue heals and matures. A wait of 4 to 12 weeks or longer is not unusual.

If you have any questions about electrosurgery, please feel free to ask us at (512)250-5012.

-Omni Dental Group.

1 comment:

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