Is Gum Contouring Right for You?

If you are not comfortable sharing your smile with the world because your teeth are too small, your gums are too big, your gumline is uneven or your gums are receding, you are not condemned to avoiding smiling. You can talk to the dentist about your options to help you improve your grin and your confidence. And now the advances in dentistry techniques and tools minimize healing time and improve results.

When Is a Cosmetic Gum Procedure Appropriate?

Some people are born with gums that cover too much of their teeth, making their teeth seem smaller than they actually are. Other people take medications that can cause the side effect of gum overgrowth. Either way, this is usually called a gummy smile or more gum tissue shows than tooth. Some people suffer from gum disease and experience gum recession, while others experience gum recession due to aging or years of aggressive brushing. Too much tooth, not enough tooth, and uneven gums are all treated with gum contouring.

Periodontal Gum Contouring

For other people, the dentist may recommend gum contouring to treat disease from tooth decay, tooth loss, gum infections or gum disease. If you are someone with pockets between the gums and teeth that are too big and prone to infection, the dentist can use periodontal gum reshaping to remove these to prevent future problems. The removal of these pockets is not unlike tonsil removal to prevent future cases of strep infections. If you prevent gum disease, you can prevent tooth loss and gum recession.

How It Works

Only the most qualified dentists and periodontists perform gum contouring so you can talk to the dentist about your vision for your smile and ask for some examples of other upgraded smiles. The dentist will use a local anesthesia to numb your gums and keep you as comfortable as possible. Often the dentist has a choice between a scalpel, a laser or radio surgery units to remove the excess gum tissue. If you are looking to make your teeth larger, the dentist may even add a crown to the surface of the tooth to increase the size even more. The dentist will reshape the gumline to suit the new tooth and to maintain symmetry throughout your mouth. The dentist may use the laser or a cauterizing tool to seal the gum or close the wound. With no open wounds or remaining gaps, your gums stand a better chance to stay bacteria and infection free.

Gum Contouring Costs

Depending on the reason for your gum reshaping, your treatment may or may not be covered by your dental insurance plan. If the procedure is for cosmetic reasons, you may pay between $600 to $2000 for a single tooth, depending on the dentist, the geographic area, the tooth and the amount of expertise needed for your procedure.

Treatment Aftercare

Your smile is well on its way to being the one of your dreams, but you need to take care of your gums as they heal from your surgery. Keeping your gums clean, eating and drinking soft, cool foods and using over the counter pain medication are the best ways to fast track your recovery.

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