Gum Contouring in La Jolla, CA

Gum contouring, also known as a gingivectomy or crown lengthening, is a surgical procedure used to reshape the gumline or margin around your teeth. It’s a popular therapeutic and cosmetic dentistry procedure for people who want to improve their smile’s appearance and oral health. If you’re considering gum contouring in La Jolla, CA, there are a few things you should know about the process and what’s involved.

Gum Contouring

Be proud of your smile

Perfect your smile with gum reshaping

Are you not loving your smile because of overly visible gums? If so, gum contouring, also known as gum reshaping, might be the answer! This cosmetic dental procedure can help even out an uneven gum line and give you a beautiful smile you can be proud of.

What is Gum Contouring?

Gum contouring (i.e., gingival recontouring or gingivectomy) is a  dental procedure designed to reshape the gumline. This process can be used to correct a gummy smile, where too much gum tissue covers the teeth, or to make a short tooth look longer by removing excess gum tissue. It can also be used to treat gum disease and to restore a balanced smile after teeth have been lost or extracted.

Gum contouring is a relatively straightforward soft tissue procedure that involves gently trimming away excess gum tissue to create a more symmetrical gumline. It may also involve crown lengthening, which involves reshaping the bone and tissue around the tooth to make it look longer. By reducing the amount of gum tissue covering your teeth, gum contouring can improve the appearance of your smile and give you a more even and aesthetically pleasing gumline. It also makes those teeth easier to clean if there are deep periodontal pockets because of past gum disease.

Do I Need Gum Contouring?

People who have an uneven or asymmetrical gum line, too much gum tissue covering their teeth, or an excessive amount of gingiva may be good candidates for this type of procedure. Those with a gummy smile may also benefit from gum recontouring as it can help to create a more even appearance where more tooth surface is visible. Additionally, those who need dental crowns may need a crown lengthening procedure in order to ensure the crown fits correctly when a tooth is too short or worn down.

Adjusting your gumlines can improve your smile’s overall appearance. Because uneven tissues can detract from the way your teeth look, adjusting the margins is sometimes an important part of your smile makeover.

Ultimately, our La Jolla dentist will be able to determine if you are a good candidate for any of these procedures.

Does Gum Recontouring Hurt?

Gum recontouring is a minimally invasive procedure that can be used to change the shape and contour of your gums. While it is generally a comfortable experience, some mild to moderate post-operative discomfort is normal. Our La Jolla dentist will use local anesthetic to numb the areas before the tissues are adjusted, preventing you from feeling any irritation during your appointment.

If the procedure is completed with a laser, there will be less discomfort and swelling overall, improving your comfort throughout the entire process.

It’s important to note that everyone experiences pain differently, so the amount of discomfort you may experience will vary depending on the extent of the treatment and your individual pain tolerance. However, most people find gum recontouring to be a relatively straightforward procedure. In most cases, any discomfort can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.

If you’re considering undergoing gum recontouring, talk to our La Jolla dentist about the level of discomfort you can expect during and after the procedure. That way we will be able to provide you with more information on how to manage any post-operative pain you may experience.

What is the Recovery Process Like?

After your procedure, you will be provided with a post-op care sheet that will explain what you need to do once you return home. Your gums may be swollen and tender after the visit, so we may prescribe medications to help ease your discomfort and improve your recovery.

You will need to keep your mouth clean and free of bacteria to ensure that any incisions heal properly. If the procedure was completed with a laser, there will not be any incisions, sutures, or dressings necessary. We recommend using a saltwater rinse to help reduce inflammation or an antiseptic rinse to help protect the gums. Brush your teeth gently and floss regularly, taking care not to disturb the area around the incisions.

To reduce swelling, it is important to keep your head elevated and apply cold compresses to your face for at least 20 minutes every hour. You should also avoid eating hard, chewy or crunchy foods that could irritate the gums. Stick to soft foods like soup, yogurt, or mashed potatoes until the incisions have completely healed.

Overall, gum recontouring is relatively straightforward, and recovery time is short. If you take good care of your mouth following the procedure, you can expect a quick recovery and stunning results.

Benefits of Crown Lengthening

Crown lengthening is a type of gum recontouring that adjusts the height of the gumline around specific teeth. This can be done for a variety of reasons, including making your teeth longer, creating a better fit for crowns or bridgework, or for “pocket reduction” purposes around teeth with advanced gum disease. During the procedure, the excess gum tissue is removed to expose more of the natural tooth structure and help create a larger surface area or shorter gum pocket to maintain. This step can help improve oral health by reducing the risk of infection or protecting the tooth by creating enough space for a crown to sit on top of it.

Will Insurance Pay for Gum Contouring?

Insurance coverage for gum recontouring (also referred to as gummy smile treatment or crown lengthening) depends on the type of procedure and the insurance provider. Most insurance companies will cover some portion of the cost of gum recontouring if it is deemed medically necessary. For example, if the procedure is being done to correct a bite issue or to protect your teeth from periodontal disease, most insurance companies will provide at least partial coverage. However, if the gum recontouring is being done to correct a cosmetic issue such as a gummy smile, it is unlikely that your insurance provider will pay for it. Harmony Dental Group will be sure to check with your insurance provider before scheduling your procedure.

Gum Reshaping in La Jolla

Call Harmony Dental Group today to reserve a no-pressure consultation to discuss your gum recontouring options.

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Helpful links: WebMD (Gum Contouring) | ADA (Glossary of Dental Terms)