what is gum contouring?

The gum lines of each person vary. Some are in the middle, some are high, and some are low. Some might be unequal. There are options if your gum line makes you feel self-conscious. Gingival sculpting, sometimes referred to as gum contouring or gingivoplasty, is one of the procedures that can help you change the structure of your gum line. In some circumstances, your dentist could even advise you to do so, particularly if you have gum problems that have an impact on your oral health. 

What is gum contouring?

Gum reshaping, also known as gum contouring, is typically seen as a cosmetic dentistry surgery that helps reshape an uneven gum line. Gingivectomy is another name for gum contouring surgery in the field of dental health. Your gums may be too high or too low on your teeth, resulting in an uneven gum line and a “gummy smile” that reveals all of your teeth.

Additionally, it is a therapy option for those whose gums have receded or are too thin, exposing the tooth roots. Given that gum tissue will not regenerate, gum contouring is permanent.

When is it medically necessary? 

Gum contouring is frequently carried out for aesthetic reasons. But occasionally, it could be necessary for medical reasons. Gum contouring might be a treatment for periodontal disease. However, your dentist will initially use nonsurgical methods to treat the gum disease. It could also involve dental cleanings to improve gum health or medications to eradicate the infection and bacteria. 

Your dentist can suggest a procedure like pocket reduction surgery on the gums and surrounding bone to save a tooth if these efforts are unsuccessful. For injured bone and gum tissue to regenerate, you could also require a regeneration therapy. These operations could include gum contouring. If so, dental insurance might pay the bill in full or in part if it’s determined to be a medical necessity. To learn what is covered and whether there are any out-of-pocket costs, you must consult with your dental insurance company.

What does the procedure involve?

This is a technique that is done in-office in a dentist’s office. Depending on the precise technique being performed and the number of teeth involved in the contouring, the surgery may last one to two hours. With local anesthetic, the dentist will numb the afflicted area. They can sculpt the gum line and remove extra gum tissue using a laser..

The dentist may then finalize the gum contouring using a scalpel and laser. For minimally invasive gum contouring, some dentists just use a laser to remove and sculpt the gum tissue. The process won’t take as long if you simply have a few teeth being treated with the laser.

Is it painful?

Before the surgery begins, local anesthetic will be administered to you. Your gums will go numb as a result, making it painless for you to have dental treatment. But later, you can have some sensitivity and numbness. Depending on how much of your gums have to be altered or removed, there may be discomfort. 

You can take over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol or Advil after surgery, or your doctor may prescribe one. Your doctor might advise against taking aspirin since it can result in bleeding. Applying an ice pack or cold compress to your mouth for a few days following the treatment will also help to minimize pain and swelling. The compress should ideally be used for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.

What is recovery like?

The healing process after gum contouring can last up to a few weeks. Your dentist can explain how you should wash your teeth and take care of them during the initial days and weeks of the healing process. For the first several days after the treatment, your dentist may advise consuming soft, warm meals. 

Before the gums are entirely healed, people who have had gum contouring should refrain from eating foods that include seeds and spicy foods. Use a soft mouthwash that destroys germs without irritating your gums.

Final thoughts

The procedure of gum contouring, often referred to as gingival sculpting, includes altering the gumline. It is frequently employed to enhance the appearance of the gums, teeth, or smile. When done with this intent, the surgery is regarded as cosmetic. But occasionally, especially if you have periodontal disease, gum contouring or reshaping is required for oral health reasons. 

The operation usually takes between one and two hours and is performed in-office. Depending on how much gum contouring is required and whether dental insurance is used, the price may change.

Make time to visit our Tigard dental office if you are unhappy with the way your smile looks. Before we talk about what you don’t like about your smile, we can perform a comprehensive examination and take X-rays. 

Then, we can offer a number of suggestions for how to deal with it. You can always have other aesthetic operations like teeth whitening or dental bonding conducted first to evaluate if the impact is significant enough for you if you don’t need gum contouring for medical reasons. Otherwise, if your gums continue to be a clear problem, you should learn more about gum contouring, and we can then advise you on the best course of action.

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