As cosmetic surgery has become more mainstream, patients are seeking surgical options that will help them achieve their physical and aesthetic goals. Dentistry is no exception to this trend. Many people who are unhappy with their gums and the way their gums affect their smile, may choose to have cosmetic gum surgery to improve their appearance.
Benefits of Cosmetic Gum Surgery
Cosmetic gum surgery may be performed for some of the following reasons:
- To cover unsightly gums or exposed root surfaces
- To improve the appearance of teeth that look too long
- To improve gum health
- To reduce the risk of root decay
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Types of Gum Surgery
There are several different cosmetic gum surgeries available to help patients achieve the smile they desire. Two types of cosmetic gum surgery available are:
A gingival lift, also known as a gum lift or gum contouring, is a cosmetic dental procedure designed to reduce and reshape highly visible gums. For patients who have always been bothered by having a gummy smile, this treatment can correct the problem and offer an aesthetic improvement.
Lasers are the safest, most effective way to perform a gingival lift. Laser precision allows the dentist to reshape the gums to create better symmetry in the smile while cutting back on excess gum tissue. Lasers only remove the targeted area of the gums, leaving all surrounding tissue unharmed. A laser gingival lift also offers patients a more comfortable experience since it causes very little pain and therefore requires only topical anesthesia. In addition, laser treatments result in almost no bleeding and tissues tend to heal more quickly than after traditional surgery.
Gum grafting is a surgical procedure that helps protect the tooth roots and improve the appearance of the smile for patients who are self-conscious about receded gums caused by gingivitis. The gums help protect the mouth from bacteria and trauma while also covering the ends of the teeth for a pleasing smile. Gum recession is therefore both a cosmetic and a medical concern.
During the gum grafting procedure, tissue is usually taken from the roof of the mouth, then placed in the receded area of the gum in order to cover the exposed root. In some cases, if the patient does not have sufficient available tissue, the graft may be taken from a donor source. The graft is then attached to the natural gum and carefully sutured into place where it not only helps correct the appearance of teeth that seem too long and affect the smile, but also reduces further gum recession and bone loss.
The gum grafting procedure can be performed on one or more teeth to help even out the gum line or to restore the appearance of the mouth and reduce the risk of gum and bone collapse after a tooth has been lost. In many cases, cosmetic gum surgery reshapes excess gum and bone tissue. It also reduces sensitivity of exposed roots to hot or cold foods. Most patients are more than satisfied with the results of their procedure and enjoy a healthy and beautiful smile after treatment.
Patients considering cosmetic gum surgery should speak with their dentist to see which procedure is the best option for their individual condition.