Gummy Smile Surgery

Gum Lifts for a Gummy Smile

What is a gum lift procedure?

A gum lift, also known as a gingival gum grafting surgery or a gingivectomy, is a cosmetic dental procedure we use to make your teeth appear longer. We remove or reshape the gum tissue where it meets your teeth to reveal more of each tooth. A similar procedure called gum contouring refers to the process of evening out the gum line which is especially helpful for those whose smiles appear asymmetrical.

Do I need a gummy smile surgery?

Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought that your teeth looked too small? This common trait is known as a gummy smile. With a gummy smile, the problem isn’t actually the size of the teeth, it’s that the soft gum tissue is covering up too much of them. Fortunately, this condition is fixed relatively easily with gummy smile surgery in which we use a dental laser to remove and sculpt the gum for a more aesthetic look and feel.

What are the variations of gum lift surgery?

Traditional gum lifts involve surgically trimming away gum tissue around the teeth and applying a dressing over the surgical site for a week of protection and proper healing.

Today, we use soft tissue laser technology, a less invasive method, to reshape gums. Since our modern gum lift treatments are done with lasers and require no cutting, they result in less bleeding, swelling, and pain, and the healing process and recovery period is much quicker.

We begin by completely numbing your gum tissue and making sure you are comfortable. Then, we use a soft tissue dental laser that is like a handheld pen to trace the desired shape of your gingiva. As we do so, the gums lift back to reveal more tooth structure.

Recovery After Gum Contouring Surgery: Is It Painful?

The beautiful thing about our modern laser gum lift treatments is that there is very little pain or recovery time after the procedure. Since there are no incisions, you will not receive stitches, and you’re able to immediately return to your everyday activities.

Despite the fact that you will experience very little pain, bleeding, and swelling, we recommend you stick to a soft diet the first several days. Crunchy and spicy foods can potentially cause inflammation and swelling which lead to discomfort.

Another way to keep inflammation at bay is to gently rinse with warm salt water rather than brushing your teeth the first couple days.

How much does a gum lift cost?

The cost of gum lifts varies according to the specifics of each case. Cost depends on whether you’ll have a simple gum tissue removal around a few teeth, or a more extensive re-shaping and gum sculpting combined with crown lengthening as part of a larger treatment. When you come in for a consult, we’ll discuss all the details and present you with all costs upfront.

Does insurance cover a gum lift?

This depends on the reasons for your gum lift. Insurance generally does not cover cosmetic procedures, but if you are having a gummy smile surgery as part of a larger treatment for advanced gum recession or gum disease, there’s better chance insurance will cover it. The way to determine if your insurance cover gum lifts is to make an appointment with us, so we can help you navigate your benefits.

How Gum Recontouring Improves Your Smile & Oral Health

Gum lifts are generally considered cosmetic procedures because patients most often seek them out to enhance the appearance of their smiles and improve their facial symmetry. However, gum recontouring treatments are also used to reduce inflammation of the gums that is sometimes caused by orthodontic treatment. This swelling can lead to extreme discomfort, and a gum lift would eliminate any pain.

How else does gum treatment enhance your oral health? By removing gum tissue and revealing more tooth structure, the procedure would make brushing easier, reducing the amount of plaque and tartar that builds up. Gum reconstruction results in reduced pocket depth between the teeth and gums which lowers the potential for bacteria to invade and cause gum disease and tooth decay. Many of our patients have gum surgery to repair exposed tooth roots which can accelerate tooth decay. Clearly, gum recontouring provides not only cosmetic but oral health benefits as well.

Ready to find out if a gum lift would be an option for you?

Call our South Charleston WV office at Steven A. Ghareeb, DDS, FAGD Office Phone Number 304-744-3333 and schedule an appointment with us today!