When you think of improving your smile, your first thought is probably to make changes to your teeth, but for some people the real problem is the gums. If the tissue is too large or uneven, your smile could end up looking gummy, and your teeth might appear shorter than they should. Luckily, at Jacksonville Dental Specialists, we can use a lesser-known treatment called gum recontouring to take care of the problem at its source. Wondering whether this treatment is right for you? Contact our practice today and schedule a consultation so that we can get started on bringing you the better grin you’ve always wanted
Gum recontouring – also sometimes referred to as gum reshaping, gingivectomy, or a “gum lift” – is a procedure for getting rid of excessive or uneven soft gum tissue to improve the appearance of your pearly whites. We’ll discuss the exact height and shape you’d like for your gums, and the procedure can be done over the course of a single visit.
If you have a “gummy” smile – that is, there’s too much gum visible when you open your mouth, or your teeth look disproportionately short – then you might benefit from gum recontouring. The best candidates will be in good oral or overall health. Dr. Nawrocki and Dr. Aguila can examine the state of your mouth and take your history into account before weighing all the different options for treatment. If we decide gum recontouring is right for you, we’ll help you plan ahead for the treatment.
There are two different ways of performing a gum recontouring procedure. The first is the traditional method that uses scalpels and sutures, which works well for particularly healthy patients. However, if you have had gum disease in the pasts, suffer from a compromised immune system or have other health concerns, soft tissue laser therapy might be the better option. Not only is the laser less invasive, but it’ll also help seal the tissue so that there’s less bleeding; this helps speed up recovery time and decreases the risk of the wound becoming infected afterwards. We’ll help you select the procedure that works best for your unique situation.
As far as the procedure itself is concerned, crown lengthening is more or less the same as gum recontouring; however, the purpose of crown lengthening is very different. If you have a tooth that needs to receive a restoration (such as a crown or a porcelain veneer), a certain amount of structure is needed to support it. If the gums are covering up too much of the tooth, performing a crown lengthening will help make the procedure possible. Like with gum recontouring, crown lengthening can be done with a traditional scalpel or a soft tissue laser depending on your needs.
Gum recontouring in Jacksonville can reveal a big, healthy smile. Whether you have a gummy smile or gum disease, your dentist at Jacksonville Dental Specialists offers the solution you need using a soft tissue laser. Don't worry if you have a few concerns because we will explain everything during your consultation. Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about gum recontouring to help determine if it’s right for you.
Gum recontouring is considered an aesthetic service, so it isn't always covered by dental insurance, but there are exceptions. The procedure also offers oral health benefits. If your dentist determines gum recontouring is medically necessary, your dental insurance can pay some of the expenses after meeting your deductible. A member of our office will work on your behalf with your dental insurance to maximize your yearly allowance to lower the amount you pay. They'll explain how your coverage is being used and if you owe any out-of-pocket expenses.
A soft tissue laser replaces the need for a scalpel and sutures, making the procedure less invasive. Your dentist may use a local numbing medication, but it isn't always necessary. Although you won't have any pain while in the dentist's chair, your gums may be tender for a couple of days. You can manage any discomfort with an over-the-counter pain reliever. Gently rinsing your mouth with salt water can ease inflammation and soreness while also killing bacteria to promote a speedy recovery.
Laser gum recontouring offers a shorter recovery than the traditional method. Typically, the gums heal in 1-2 weeks. Any discomfort or inflammation will improve within a few days if you follow your dentist's aftercare instructions. However, everyone heals differently. You can lower your risk of complications by not smoking or drinking alcohol until after you've recovered. Don't forget to maintain your follow-up appointment with your dentist.
You'll have a few dietary restrictions while your mouth heals. Your dentist will recommend soft foods for at least the first few days, like yogurt, mashed potatoes, or soups. Avoid anything acidic or spicy. Don't have any crunchy foods, like hard taco shells or chips, until after your mouth has healed.
There's no flat fee for gum recontouring because every smile is as unique as fingerprints. Many factors will affect the amount you'll pay, like the number of teeth being treated and whether it's for cosmetic or medical reasons. We strive to keep a beautiful, healthy smile within everyone's budget. Besides using your dental insurance, we offer many financial solutions to keep our services affordable, like monthly payments through CareCredit.