When you smile, do you see more of your gums than you’d like? Do your teeth seem too short or too tall for your smile? If you are unhappy with your smile because your gum line is too low or too high on your teeth, you may be a candidate for gum contouring surgery. Also called gum reshaping or tissue sculpting, this laser procedure at our Boston-area office can correct an uneven gum line and give you the smile you desire.
Do I Need Gum Contouring Surgery?
Gum contouring is typically considered a cosmetic procedure, but in some cases, it can be deemed medically necessary. Some patients undergo gum contouring surgery as part of a periodontal (gum tissue) treatment plan that may also involve crown lengthening, pocket reduction, and regenerative procedures. These patients often have gums that are too high due to gum recession, which is when gum tissue pulls away from the tooth and exposes some of the root. This condition can make the teeth appear longer and worn. Gum recession and gum disease can lead to very serious problems, including tooth and bone loss.
However, most patients choose to have their gums reshaped to improve a “gummy smile.” These patients typically have gums that cover a large portion of the teeth, making the teeth look small and disproportionate. This appearance can be the result of genetics or certain prescription drugs.
Gum contouring can also be performed to make the gum line more even. This makes the teeth appear more uniform and straight.
What Is Involved in the Procedure?
Gum contouring can be performed by a cosmetic dentist or a periodontist (gum specialist). Our practice uses the state-of-the-art Waterlase to treat periodontal problems (as well as cavities, tooth decay, and discolored teeth). Not only is laser dentistry quicker and more comfortable than traditional techniques, but it also results in significantly faster healing time. This is because the laser actually seals off blood vessels as it contacts the gums; this results in far less bleeding and discomfort, especially when compared to gum contouring with a scalpel.
What Should I Expect After the Procedure?
For the first few days, you may notice some bleeding and tenderness. You should limit your diet to soft, cool foods, such as eggs, pasta, and yogurt. It may take a few days or weeks for your gums to heal completely. We will give you specific instructions about caring for your mouth during the recovery process.
Benefits of the procedure, especially when combined with porcelain veneers or crown lengthening, include increased confidence when smiling and speaking, as well as improved gum health. These combined procedures provide patients with a proportionate, healthy, youthful-looking smile.
Learn More about Laser Gum Contouring
If you are unhappy with the way your teeth and gums look, we invite you to schedule a consultation to learn if gum contouring surgery is right for you. The entire team at our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve the best possible dental health.