Your teeth are an important part of your smile, but your gums are just as crucial. Excess gum tissue can make your teeth look too short, creating a smile that is more gums than teeth. An uneven gum line that makes some teeth appear longer than others can also ruin your confidence in your smile. If you have either of these problems, gum reshaping may be for you. Here's what you need to know about this procedure.
When is gum reshaping recommended?
Dentists often recommend gum reshaping as a cosmetic procedure to people who aren't happy with the way their gums look. If you think your smile is too gummy, ask your dentist about getting your gums reshaped.
This procedure is usually cosmetic, but in some cases, it can be medically necessary. For example, if plaque has accumulated between your excess gum tissue and your teeth, that gum tissue may need to removed to allow for proper cleaning. Your teeth will be easier to clean after the procedure, and your gums will be healthier.
How is gum reshaping performed?
Gum reshaping is a relatively minor procedure, and can be completed in one visit to the dentist. The whole procedure will be over in 15 to 30 minutes.
The dentist will numb your gums, then cut away excess gum tissue with either a scalpel or a laser. Laser surgery is preferable because at the same time as it cuts away excess tissue, the heat from the laser will cauterize (seal) the tissue. This means that you won't bleed or need stitches after the procedure. If the procedure is done with a scalpel, your gums will bleed and you will need stitches in them.
Does gum reshaping hurt?
Having your gum tissue cut away with a laser or a scalpel sounds horrible, but you won't feel any pain during the procedure. Your dentist will give you local anesthesia, and if you're really anxious, may also sedate you. Sedation allows you to relax during the procedure, but you'll still be awake and alert.
After the procedure is finished, you will have some swelling and pain in your gums. Many people will feel fine after a few days, but other people will need a few weeks to heal completely. You should stick to soft foods until your gums feel better.
Is gum reshaping expensive?
The cost of gum reshaping varies based on how much gum tissue is being removed. To get the gum tissue around one tooth reshaped, you can expect to pay anywhere between $50 and $350. If you get the gum line around all of your front teeth reshaped, you can expect to spend somewhere between $1000 and $3000. Gum reshaping isn't usually covered by insurance companies since it is an elective and cosmetic surgery. If you need to get this surgery done for medical reasons (like gum disease) it may be covered.
Is gum reshaping permanent?
Gum reshaping is usually a permanent solution for a gummy smile or an uneven gum line, but this isn't always the case. Sometimes, your gum tissue can regrow, which means that you could need to have the procedure repeated down the road. This is not very common, so don't let the fear of regrowth stop you from getting your gums reshaped.
Your teeth are a big part of your smile, but don't forget about your gums! Too much gum tissue or an uneven gum line can ruin both your smile and your self confidence, but gum reshaping can easily fix this problem. Make an appointment at a cosmetic dentistry clinic and ask if you're a good candidate for gum reshaping.