Periodontal Plastic Surgery refers to cosmetic procedures performed on the gums to enhance the appearance and health of the smile. Gum contouring is a part of these procedures in our Concord and Lexington, MA offices that Dr. Ancy Verdier and Dr. Mariam Khan provide for patients with gum problems. Contouring treatment can lengthen the appearance of short teeth and address gummy smiles.
Gum Contouring in Lexington, MA
Two types of contouring lengthen teeth, esthetic and functional crown lengthening treatments:
Esthetic Crown Lengthening
Those who feel that they have a “gummy” smile can greatly benefit from esthetic crown lengthening. This simple procedure usually takes about an hour and is essentially a “gum lift.” During the procedure, the doctor removes excess gum and bone tissue and reshapes the smile to expose more of the natural tooth. While the procedure can be performed on just one tooth, it is most often done on the entire smile. The result is that more of the natural tooth is exposed, creating a broader, more beautiful smile.
Esthetic crown lengthening can also be done to preserve the smile’s health. Removing excess gum tissue can help control and prevent periodontal disease. Increasing the exposed surface area of the tooth will decrease the depth of pockets between teeth, where bacteria can grow and harm your teeth and gums.
Before the procedure, a local anesthetic will be administered to prevent pain and discomfort. Small incisions in the gum tissue will be needed to separate the gums from the teeth.
Sometimes, a small amount of bone must also be removed to create a natural smile. Once the procedure is completed, the doctor will clean the incisions with sterile water and place sutures and a protective bandage over the area to encourage the teeth and newly contoured gums to re-attach to each other. A follow-up appointment will be needed one to two weeks after the procedure to evaluate healing.
Functional Crown Lengthening
Sometimes functional crown lengthening will be needed to perform a cosmetic or restorative procedure. This may be the case if a tooth is too far decayed, broken below the gum line, or has insufficient structure for restoration, like a crown or bridge. In cases like this, the dentist may be required to lower the gum and bone levels to expose more of the root surface so it can be restored. However, simply trimming back the gum line is not sufficient. Instead, the dentist must reshape the gums and supporting bone for adequate room for a high-quality restoration.
The procedure is similar to esthetic crown lengthening in that a local anesthetic will be administered. Small incisions are required to remove the gum tissue and reshape the area. When the procedure has been completed, the dentist will place sutures that must be removed in one to two weeks. After the area has completely healed (6-8 weeks), the final restorative dentistry, such as a crown or bridge, can be placed.
Address Your Gummy Smile
Do you need to reshape your gums to lengthen your teeth? Call our Lexington dental office today at 781.384.5892. You can also call our Concord office at 978.391.6081.