Gum contouring - for the "gummy smile"

  • Cost:Prices start from £120
  • Treatment length: Approx 1 hour
  • Used for: Gummy smile, un-even gumline
  • Available: From most cosmetic dentists

Gum contouring, also known as gum reshaping, is a cosmetic form of dental treatment used to improve the general look of a person’s teeth. It is primarily used in cases where the individual has what is commonly known as ‘gummy smile’. This is a condition in which the gums cover too much of the teeth, usually the front teeth, and this can leave the length of the teeth looking too short, which can affect a person’s general desire to smile.

Such a condition may be caused due to genetics, health circumstances or as a result of certain high blood pressure prescriptions. This can have an affect on an individual’s self-confidence and may see them do their best not to smile in public. Thankfully, gum contouring is a dental treatment which is painless and able to solve the problem of ‘gummy smile’ through quick and painless treatment.

What is ‘gummy smile’?

A gummy smile is only considered so when there is a high percentage of gum covering a person’s front teeth. This is commonly caused by genetic factors, but it can also be due to certain health conditions or as a side-effect to some high blood pressure medication. Such a condition can cause a person’s self-esteem to plummet and can make the process of smiling an unappealing one. This is a condition that mainly affects the front teeth but can also shape other teeth out of sight. ‘Gummy smile’ is not so much a medical dilemma but is more of an aesthetic problem. It can however have a negative affect on an individual’s self-confidence, affecting their mental welfare, which is why gum contouring is such an important dental treatment.

What is gum contouring?

Gum contouring is a procedure which is most commonly done through the use of a scalpel. However, technological advances have seen special laser devices emerging in the treatment of ‘gummy smile’. The scalpel or laser will be used to trim away at any excessive gum overlying the teeth. This is a quick and often painless treatment. The scalpel will make the process slightly longer, and the laser also has the added bonus of being able to seal blood vessels during the procedure. This will help to limit the amount of blood released due to the incision. Along with the use of crowns and veneers after the treatment is complete, gum contouring is a simple procedure that can easily remedy ‘gummy smile’.

What does the gum contouring procedure involve?

To begin with a local anaesthetic is used to take away feeling from the area where the procedure is to commence. The scalpel or laser device will then be used to trim away at the excessive gum that is covering the front teeth. As well as cutting away at the gum, the dental practitioner will also work to reshape the gum that is to remain in place. The healing process is relatively quick, but will be made faster if the laser device is used, as it works to seal blood vessels, in order to prevent excessive bleeding once the procedure is complete.

There are certain instances in which the removable and reshaping of the gum is not enough. If this is the case then the dental practitioner may need to remove some of the bone in which the teeth are rooted. This will be down to the judgement of the dental practitioner, should they think the gum will reform too far down on the teeth. This may seem more daunting to some than the mere removable of excessive gum, but it is just as simple a procedure. Once treatment is complete you may be prescribed with veneers or crowns to help improve the look of your smile.

Benefits and risks of gum contouring

This is a treatment that can work a treat to improve your smile and self-confidence. However, as with most procedures that involve cutting into tissue and bone there are certain risks involved.

  • The healing process is quick and simple, but will take slightly longer if a scalpel is used.
  • This is a relatively painless procedure. You will be unable to feel anything during the procedure due to the local anaesthetic.
  • There may be the need to remove bone to improve the look of your teeth. This is a simple procedure.
  • The removal of too much gum can make it difficult for the designated area to heal properly. This can lead to swelling and may need to be corrected through further treatment.

How much does gum contouring cost?

The cost of gum contouring treatment can vary depending on the amount of tissue that needs to be contoured and if it is carried out using a laser or a scalpal. A gum specialist is likely to charge more than a general dentist. Prices for gum contouring start from around £120.

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