Risks and Benefits Associated with Gum Contouring
Gum contouring is also known as gum reshaping or tissue sculpting. As the name implies, it is a dental procedure done to even the gum line for an attractive and confident smile. It is mainly used to treat gum recession and gummy smiles. The first is a condition that causes the gums to pull away from the teeth, making them appear longer. The latter is where the gums cover a significant portion of the teeth, making them appear small.
Other reasons for undergoing the procedure could be as a necessary part of other periodontal treatments such as crown lengthening and regeneration procedures to regrow gum tissue or bone. However, not all issues addressed by gum contouring are medically necessary, and this is why it is often regarded as a cosmetic procedure.
At Whitaker Family Dental, we perform gum contouring is performed for both medical and cosmetic purposes. From an aesthetic view, reshaping your gums can help dramatically improve your smile. Issues like thick gums that make the teeth appear shorter or aging effects that change the shape and size of your gums canal be corrected to give you a beautiful smile and increased self-esteem. The procedure helps make your teeth longer and expose more of the tooth’s enamel, to create a brighter smile. In cases where the gumline is uneven, reshaping of the gums results in a straighter smile.
Gum contouring also promotes overall good dental health by addressing any problems with your gums that could be putting your teeth at risk. An example is periodontal disease which causes the gums to recede, exposing the roots and deteriorating the supporting structures of the tooth over time. Having this procedure done in such a case is a necessary part of periodontal treatment that at the same time offers you some cosmetic benefits.
What Does the Procedure Involve?
This is an in-office procedure that is mostly completed in a single dental visit that takes between 1 to 2 hours. Local anesthesia is usually used to numb the area being worked on while you remain fully awake throughout the entire process. You will however discuss the sedation options with your dentist to determine which works best in your case. The procedure can be done via lasers, radiosurgery or the use of scalpels. It is important to have a discussion with your dentist on what the whole procedure entails so that you know what to expect.
Before the procedure begins, the dentist will establish what the new gum line will look like to see how much gum needs to be removed, if there is too much gum tissue, or how much needs to be grafted, in cases where it is receding. This is usually visually outlined to allow for your approval or recommendations on how the reshaping and sculpting should be done.
In case you are being treated for receding gums, it may be necessary for the dentist to remove tissue from another part of the mouth and graft it to your gums. You can also expect to sometimes get sutures, which help hold the gums in place after a contouring procedure.
Risks and Side-Effects of Gum Contouring
Cosmetic dentistry and dentistry in general have evolved over the last couple of years to make dental procedures effective and more bearable to patients. Since gum contouring is a surgical procedure, you can expect some level of discomfort right after the procedure. You will be advised on the necessary aftercare to ensure you recover and heal without any complications. As with any surgical procedure, the greatest risk associated with gum shaping is developing an infection. There is also the possibility of negatively reacting to the anesthesia used.
Make sure to work with a reputable dentist for gum contouring to lessen chances of a complication. Take time to fully understand what you about to commit to and never hesitate to ask questions. Part of the responsibility of preventing any associated risks lies on you. Always give truthful information when asked and follow your doctor’s advice without failing. This way, you will increase chances of a successful gum contouring treatment.