You may have bright, symmetrical, straight teeth and still feel dissatisfied with your overall smile aesthetic. These characteristics are beneficial, but they aren’t always enough. When gum tissue sits too low on the front teeth, the smile tends to look less sophisticated. This is because a “gummy smile” can make teeth appear very short. Usually, gummy smiles run in families. Regardless of cause, this is a cosmetic condition that causes far too many people to feel self-conscious.
If you have a gummy smile, we would be happy to see you in our Austin office, where we can provide gum contouring treatment to elevate your smile to a new level of attractiveness.
What problems does gum contouring solve?
Gum contouring has helped celebrities like Catherine Zeta-Jones, and it has helped many of our patients feel better about their appearance. This simple procedure solves problems like:
- Overhanging gums
- Small teeth
- Uneven gum line
How does gum contouring work?
Historically, gum contouring has been a minor surgical procedure that removes excess tissue with a traditional scalpel method. While this was a common technique for many years, laser dental instruments have paved the way for a faster, gentler approach.
Laser gum contouring, which we perform in our Austin office, is a precision treatment method that can shape gum tissue around individual teeth for a more pleasing appearance. Because laser has an immediate vaporizing effect on soft tissue, redundant gingiva is removed in an instant while blood vessels are simultaneously cauterized, or sealed with heat. These effects replace the need for incisions and subsequent stitching to allow for recovery. Therefore, the healing process occurs much more quickly.
Laser Gum Contouring Treatment
Prior to laser gum contouring, local anesthetic is administered to desensitize nerve endings. Because the area is numb, the short treatment process should be very comfortable. A laser instrument is then used to carefully shape gum tissue around each tooth. Small sections of tissue are trimmed at a time to assure we achieve the desired outcome. The full extent of treatment is completed in a single visit.
Recovery: What to Expect
After local anesthetic wears off, it is normal to experience minor soreness and swelling. These side effects may last a few days, or up to a week. Comfort can be managed with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen, or with a pain-reducer like acetaminophen (one or the other, not both). Also, eating softer foods like cooked vegetables, soup, oatmeal, eggs, cottage cheese, and yogurt keeps chewing to a minimum. You may also want to avoid spicy and seedy foods until your gums have completely healed.
Our team provides specific oral care instructions for patients after laser gum contouring. Brushing and flossing remain important because they inhibit bacterial activity, which decreases the risk of infection. However, because your gums may feel tender, you’ll need to follow a special protocol for a few days.
What are the risks of laser gum contouring?
The risks associated with laser gum contouring are very low because there are no stitches and because the laser cauterizes blood vessels, so there is minimal risk of bleeding.
The primary risks of laser gum contouring are swelling and allergic reaction to local anesthesia. If you’ve ever had a filling or other dental procedure, you’re already aware of the way your body reacts to numbing medication.
Will tissue grow back after gum contouring?
Laser gum contouring removes soft tissue and a minimal amount of bone tissue beneath the gums. This step prevents tissue from growing back over the exposed area.
Can gum contouring be combined with other procedures?
Am I a good candidate for laser gum contouring?
Good candidates for laser gum contouring are adults who are interested in improving the appearance of their smile. It is ideal to have healthy teeth and gums and to be prepared for the permanent results achieved through this treatment.
At The Cosmetic Dentists of Austin, we prioritize comfort, personal care, and results. Discover how laser gum contouring can eliminate your gummy smile by scheduling a consultation with us.