What Is Gum Contouring ?
If you are unhappy with your smile due to gums resting too high or low on your teeth, then gum contouring surgery offers a proven corrective dental solution. Gum contouring, also called tissue sculpting or gum reshaping, is a cosmetic dental procedure to even out an uneven gum line so that you can again smile and interact with confidence.
Causes And Signs Of Uneven Gums
A specific health issue, genetics, or certain prescription medicines can result in uneven gums. Gums that cover a significant portion of your teeth, i.e., low gums, make your teeth appear small. And gums that are too high and make your teeth look long are usually due to gum recession—a dental condition in which gum tissue moves back from a tooth, and exposes the tooth’s root. Gum recession makes the teeth look long, and can trigger serious dental issues such as decaying teeth and tooth loss.
Is Gum Contouring Surgery Necessary?
Gum contouring, as such, is considered a cosmetic procedure, and is usually not medically necessary. Most people only get their gums realigned to enhance the appearance of their smile. However, some patients go through gum contouring surgery when mandatory periodontal procedures, such as pocket reduction, crown lengthening, and regenerative procedures, are required. Adding gum tissue when there is a recession and trimming overgrown tissue, which has covered part of the tooth crown, is also deemed part of gum contouring procedures.
Doctors Who Can Perform Gum Contouring
Periodontists or gum specialists and many general dentists can carry out gum contouring procedures. However, before embarking on this procedure, consult with your dentist and inform yourself about the dental service provider’s skill and experience in gum contouring or gum contouring surgery.
How Much Does Gum Contouring Cost?
The cost of gum contouring is arrived at after listing the number of sub-procedures to be done. Speak with your dentist about the cost that will be incurred, and bear in mind that dental insurance typically does not cover a gum contouring procedure when it is for a cosmetic purpose.
What To Expect In Gum Contouring
Gum contouring surgery is carried out in the dentist’s office, and the dentists use lasers, scalpels, and radio surgery to complete the gum contouring procedure.
Before commencing surgery, your doctor should discuss and inform you about the details of the procedure you are about to undergo. Dentists often use a pen and draw a line to register the new gum line, and this way you can exactly see to what extent the gum will be removed or reshaped.
A local anesthetic may be applied to numb the area. Sometimes, gum contouring also requires removing the bone at the front of the tooth’s root to attain long-lasting results.
The Recovery Process After Gum Contouring
On the day of surgery, you are advised to rest, and post-surgery rest is advised for a few days or weeks so that your gums can heal completely. To hasten the recovery process, your dentist will provide suggestions. Nevertheless, given below are some general tips that should be helpful for the recovery period:
Eat cool, soft food items such as pasta, eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and soft vegetables for the first few days following surgery. Spicy food and anything containing seeds should be avoided until gums have fully healed.
The dentist will provide instructions about when and how to brush your teeth during the healing period
You can consume over-the-counter pain relievers such as Advil or Tylenol to reduce pain, but as directed by your dentist. Do not take aspirin as it can cause bleeding.
But, if you observe excessive bleeding or swelling, or experience unexpected symptoms or reactions following the procedure, call your dentist immediately.
The Risks Of Gum Contouring
All types of surgeries come with risks, and dangers associated with gum contouring include:
Gum tissue’s relapse
Allergic reaction, while rare, to the anesthetic
The need for gum contouring or surgery arises when you are not satisfied with the way your gums and teeth appear—causing embarrassment—or worse if low or high gums are a sign of a deeper disease. But please note that only an experienced and skilled dentist can make a cosmetic procedure a safe and successful one. As not all dentists have such capabilities, don’t leave the fate of your gums and teeth in the hands of those who don’t know their job. If in doubt, ask the dentist about additional training in cosmetic dentistry, and testimonials. Further, request to view pictures of cosmetic work to visualize how you will appear after the procedure.