Have you ever been told you have a gummy smile? For many people, this is a common insecurity which can be modified, if you so wish.
A simple procedure, known as gum contouring, works to change the shape of your smile if you feel your gums are a little too prominent.
While there are a number of reasons behind having uneven gums, the most common of these is genetics and gumline recession.
If you’re considering gum contouring and want to know more about what to expect, read it all here.
5 Need-to-Know Facts About Gum Contouring
While most people opt for gum contouring surgery for cosmetic reasons, there are some who must undergo it for medical reasons.
If the gumline recession is severe enough, this can lead to exposed dental roots, which can compromise the strength of your teeth.
But, if you’re looking to gum contouring for aesthetic purposes, you’re not alone as this is a highly popular surgery with very little downtime.
Here’s what to expect:
1. Laser Gum Contouring Delivers the Best Results
Gum contouring is performed using a specialized cutting tool or specialized laser. However, this procedure is best performed with a specialized laser cutting tool by a periodontist.
The procedure removes excessive gum tissue, exposing more of the enamel of the teeth, reducing gum exposure when you smile.
It’s a relatively simple procedure that is done in one office visit with a local anesthetic.
If the periodontist has to remove bone as well as excess gum tissue, a stronger form of anesthesia is used, while healing time is naturally longer.
The basic shape and size of your teeth will ultimately determine the final look of your smile as gum contouring only focuses on gum work.
2. Laser Contouring Delivers Faster Recovery
In today’s day and age, nothing can quite top the accuracy and finesse of a laser. So when it comes to gum contouring and reduced healing time, laser is the way to go.
Even the sharpest medical scalpel cannot out-perform the accurate incisions made by a laser. Therefore this means reduced inflammation and a much quicker rate of healing.
Medical lasers are also capable of cauterizing their own incisions. This means there’s less risk of infection, making the healing process all-the-more effective and pain-free.
3. A Periodontist is the Expert
While you may read that your local dentist can perform gum reshaping after braces or simple gum contouring, this isn’t always your best option.
A periodontist is a skilled expert in the art of gum contouring. For the best results, this is the expert you should consult with.
Generally, a periodontist has undergone approved training, specializing in periodontology to be able to perform this treatment.
This means they have studied dentistry, but chosen to specialize with a post-graduate course in periodontology.
4. Healing and Pain Levels Depend on the Procedure
With any dental procedure, some level of pain or discomfort is to be expected. If you’ve ever been to the dentist, you should know this!
However, the level of pain and healing time with gum contouring largely depends on how extensive your procedure is.
If you are only having a small amount of gum tissue removed, healing time is as little as 3-4 days. Extensive tissue or bone removal can take up to a month to heal properly.
Your pain levels also depend on the amount of tissue cut away, shaped or grafted.
During the procedure, you are medicated, but afterward, pain and discomfort are to be expected for a few hours.
During your recovery, try and stick to Tylenol and Advil for pain relief. Aspirin may cause gums to bleed.
You will need to eat soft, cool foods for 3-5 days post-procedure. While you must follow your periodontist’s instructions when it comes to brushing your teeth.
5. This Procedure Could be Covered by Insurance
This all depends on the insurance you cover you have. But if you require gum contouring for medical reasons, your insurance will likely cover part of the procedure for you.
If you have suffered from gum disease which requires you to have gum contouring, this is considered a health reason.
However, if you’re choosing to have gum contouring done for purely personal reasons, it’s important to know the procedure will not be covered by insurance.
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