Ever looked in the mirror or at a photograph of yourself and felt insecure about your smile? You’re not alone. According to Dental Economics, cosmetic dentistry is a booming industry in today’s world. Most procedures have seen close to 200% growth in recent years.
If you’re looking to alter what is commonly known as a ”gummy” smile, there is a highly effective procedure on the market for just that- gum contouring surgery.
But no form of dental surgery comes without its fair share of risk. Learn more about the steps involved in gum contouring as well as the pros and cons of this surgery.
Gum Contouring Surgery: How it Works
This revolutionary surgery alters the shape and size of the gums, ultimately changing the overall look of your smile.
This service is not a new practice. In fact, it’s been around for many years now and is an effective way of improving your smile and instances of gum disease.
The appearance of your gums may change over time due to age, the natural wear of gum tissue and, most notably, periodontal disease. Gum surgery is often performed in conjunction with other dental procedures such as crowns, veneers or resin bonding.
So, what exactly constitutes a ”gummy” smile?
In short, a gummy smile takes shape due to receding or excessive gum tissue. A person’s teeth may appear too short or too long or the gums themselves may appear too prominent.
In order to correct or reshape your smile gum contouring surgery is a simple, effective and long-lasting solution. The surgery involves grafting gum tissue to the mouth where gums are recessive. Alternatively, a dentist removes excess gum tissue with a laser to improve a gummy smile.
On the other hand, gum contouring is also effective in cases of severe periodontal disease where a patient is at risk of tooth loss. Gum surgery is a preventative measure where a dentist removes diseased areas of the gum.
The Pros of Gum Contouring Surgery
A few benefits of this cosmetic dental procedure include:
1. It’s Less Evasive Than Ever
Gum contouring is a simple, quick, and efficient surgery performed in dental surgery using high-tech medical equipment. This makes for a faster procedure and reduced recovery time.
Today, a laser removes areas of excess gum tissue, making for a precise procedure with little to no risk of infection. In some cases, general anaesthesia is a requirement, but for the most part, gum surgery is performed in a dental office.
2. You Only Need a Single Appointment
In most cases of gum contouring, you are only required to attend one dental appointment in order to complete the procedure.
Unlike many other forms of cosmetic dentistry, gum contouring is a quick procedure that doesn’t require weeks of healing time.
3. It’s Relatively Painless
If dental pain makes you anxious, then this is not something you need to worry about when it comes to gum contouring. Due to the fact that this surgery is performed with laser technology, this keeps pain levels to a minimum.
Previously, the surgery was performed using a scalpel which increased the risk of infection and pain levels. Today, local anaesthetic and laser surgery make for a relatively pain-free experience.
4. The Results Are Permanent
One of the most important benefits of gum contouring is that the results are basically instant and permanent. There is no need to book multiple visits with your dentist in order to reap the best results. This is usually achieved in one single session.
This way you also save yourself time and money and get to walk away with the smile you deserve!
5. Gum Contouring Can Improve Oral Health
If your teeth are hidden by excess gum tissue, this means they are generally more difficult to clean. The same goes for excess tooth protrusion, your teeth are excessively vulnerable while eating and drinking.
With this in mind, gum contouring surgery actually works to restore the balance between gum and tooth ratio, improving the protection of your oral health.
The Cons of Gum Contouring Surgery
As mentioned, there is always some form of risk when undergoing any form of surgery, whether it’s in your mouth or any other part of your body. Some risks of gum contouring include:
1. Mouth Tenderness
While severe pain post-surgery is not on the cards, a little sensitivity around the gums is to be expected. After all, your gums just underwent surgery.
However, this sensitivity will subside in a matter of days and can be managed with over-the-counter painkillers and non-bacterial mouthwash.
2. It’s Not a Complete Solution for Gum Disease
It’s important to bear in mind that gum contouring is purely a cosmetic procedure. This means that it cannot be used as a solution to treat severe periodontal disease.
While a dentist can remove hollows of bacteria in your gums during the surgery, gum disease can only be prevented with good oral hygiene.
3. The Procedure is Not Covered by Insurance
As is expected, your medical insurance is not likely to cover any procedure that is considered cosmetic. This means that your gum contouring surgery will have to be paid out of your own pocket. However, there may be some leeway with regards to severe periodontal disease.
4. Gum Contouring Can Be Costly
Generally, you should expect to pay as much as $350 to reshape the gum area around each individual tooth. If you have a number of teeth than need re-shaping, the cost can add up quickly. However, if your dentist feels it is medically necessary, insurance may cover a portion of the cost.
To add to this, the cost of the surgery could increase significantly when paired with other necessary procedures such as grafting, crowns, or veneers. Therefore you expect to pay in the range of $600-$2,000 for your surgery.
5. There is a Possibility of Infection
Unfortunately, this is a reality for most surgical procedures in the mouth. There is a possibility of developing an infection post-surgery, however, it is also 100% avoidable.
Your cosmetic dentist will prescribe an antibiotic to take and recommend a good oral hygiene regimen. This is to keep the number of bacteria in your mouth as low as possible. By following their instructions, an infection can be avoided.
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Now that you know a little more about what to expect from gum contouring surgery, take care of your health by checking back on our website for more!
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