Many people dislike the way their smile looks due to issues like stained teeth, crooked teeth, or chipped teeth. A cosmetic dentist can help to correct all of those problems. But what if your dissatisfaction with your smile has nothing to do with your teeth? What if it is related to your gums instead? If you have excess or uneven gum tissue that interferes with your smile’s aesthetics, you have what is known as a “gummy” smile. A procedure called gum contouring may be able to help.
What Is Gum Contouring?
Gum contouring is also known as gum recontouring or a gingivectomy. During the procedure, a dentist gently removes excess gum tissue to expose more of your teeth’s structure. In many cases, the tool they use is a soft tissue laser, which minimizes bleeding and facilitates a fast recovery. Gum contouring can be used to trim the gums near one tooth, a few teeth, or even all of the teeth that are visible when you smile.
The terms “gum contouring” and “crown lengthening” are often used interchangeably. However, there is a slight difference between the two treatments. Crown lengthening may involve slight reshaping of the bone around a tooth, whereas gum recontouring affects only the soft tissue.
Gum Contouring Candidates
The top characteristic of a gum contouring candidate is excess or uneven gum tissue. If your gums are normal but your smile appears gummy for another reason — for example, because your upper lip moves too far back — gum contouring may not be a good fit for you.
Also, keep in mind that you should possess good oral health. It is important that you are free of gum disease because gum disease often causes gum recession. Gum contouring will bring your gums to their proper place, and the last thing you want is for them to recede further and expose your tooth roots.
Making Your Decision
Your cosmetic dentist will be happy to help you decide whether you are ready to commit to gum contouring. One thing to keep in mind during your consultation is the fact that the procedure is irreversible, so you should have realistic expectations about it before you move forward. Most patients are very pleased with their results; they are surprised that a dentist can make a such huge difference in their appearance by removing so little gum tissue!
Additionally, since dental insurance does not usually cover gum contouring, you should fully understand the monetary cost of the treatment. Your dentist’s team will provide you with an estimate and let you know about your payment options.
Are you ready to say goodbye to your gummy smile? Gum contouring may be the perfect solution for you!
About the Author
Dr. Susan Kutis completed dental school at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry in 2006. Since then, she has been recognized as a leader in her profession multiple times, both by consumers and her peers. She has completed numerous advanced education courses, including many in cosmetic techniques. She is proud to provide gum contouring as one of her services. To learn more about Dr. Kutis or our practice, contact us at 303-973-1112.